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Art on TrialArt Therapy in Capital Murder Cases$
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David Gussak

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231162517

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231162517.001.0001

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The Deposition

The Deposition

(p.77) 4 The Deposition
Art on Trial

David E. Gussak

Columbia University Press

This chapter recounts David Gussak's meeting with chief deputy prosecutor Bill Williams for his deposition, where they discussed his assessments and conclusions. Williams first asked about art therapy. Gussak explained that the therapy uses art as a therapeutic tool to bring about emotional or psychological change in a client. They then discussed the assessments used, which included the Person Picking an Apple from a Tree (PPAT) assessment and the Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS), and proceeded to examine some of Ward's drawings that strongly led to the conclusion that he did suffer from a mental illness. At this point, Gussak highlighted Ward's three assessment drawings, which revealed fragmentation and decompensation. He also stressed that the way that Ward explained the drawings reinforced his fragmented, disorganized, and complex thought processes.

Keywords:   Bill Williams, art therapy, art, mental illness, fragmentation, decompensation, thought processes

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