History & Publications
The IDT modality was developed by New Zealander, Russell Withers, whose counselling training consisted of Transactional Analysis, Gestalt therapy, REM therapy, CBT, Primal and Cathartic therapies, Psychodrama, and a substantive amount of Co-Counselling training (John Heron) as well as several years of individual psychotherapy (both Freudian and Jungian), and complemented by a high amount of group and individual therapy. Prior to Russell’s counselling career he was an award winning architect for over 20 years. Trained to diagram and make notes on the same page (as a device for clarifying the client’s needs, recording site conditions, exploring ideas, etc), it was natural for Russell to use pages when working with clients in a counselling context. Russell noticed clients would keep changing the drawing until they were satisfied that it was an accurate representation of both their situation and their needs.
Originally used in a more left-brained cognitive focus, the IDT method progressively revealed the symbolic inner-world condition of the client, and the power of alternating between left and right brain functions. Through rigorous recording and analysis of hundreds of client sessions it could be seen that the client’s words, images and behaviours change in patterned and predictable ways as they progress through the stages of their therapy. The IDT map of the therapeutic process is unique and a significant contribution to clinical practice. The theory-in-practice of IDT developed from the detailed collation and analysis of clients drawings in session. IDT has thereby grown out of the phenomenology of working with clients and remains a developing modality.
IDT is used by both professional and voluntary helpers across a wide spectrum of psychological and social services, and has been acclaimed as an innovative and inspiring resource that readily adapts to the differing needs of different client groups. To date, IDT training courses have attracted thousands of enrolments from around the world and from many different professions. IDT is widely recognised as a valuable, effective and proven way of helping clients and informing professional practice. Many agencies now incorporate IDT into their professional tool kit, and it has become an approved professional option for various training and accrediting institutions.
Articles in the following publications are reprinted with kind permission of the Editors : New Zealand Journal of Counselling:
2006 Volume 26 Number 4
2009 Volume 29 Number 2
New Zealand Association of Counsellors, PO Box 165, Hamilton, New Zealand
The Withers R. Interactive Drawing Therapy Working with Therapeutic Imagery NZJC 26-4 2006 pp1
Everts H. & Withers R. A Practitioner Survey of Interactive Drawing Therapy as Used in New Zealand NZJC 26-4 2006 pp15
Stone. C & Everts H. The Therapeutic Use of Metaphor in Interactive Drawing Therapy NZJC 26-4 2006 pp31
Withers R. The Therapeutic Process of Interactive Drawing Therapy NZJC 29-2 2009
Withers, R. (2008). The use of imagery and metaphor when working cross-culturally. 2008 International Asia Pacific Rim Counselling Conference Presentations Disc: 4-9.
Everts, H. & Zhang, W. (2012). Interactive Drawing Therapy and Chinese Migrants with Gambling Problems. Online First, SpringerLink