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Bender Visual Motor Gestalt

Card A

Card 1

Card 2

Card 3

Card 4

Card 5

Card 6

Card 7

Card 8

Interpretive Factors
Expected order: left to right, top to bottom Deviations such as
Shifts in expected progression (Cards A and 1 are left to right, card 2 is below card one, card 3 is next to card 1)

Normal methodical sequence Abnormal

Overly concerned with organization (e.g. measuring

distance between figures, possibly obsessive

Indecisiveness Excessive rigidity Covert feelings of inadequacy Compulsive doubting

Irregular lack of control, possibly bipolar or impulse control disorder

Low frustration tolerance High latent anxiety Indecisiveness Borderline ego control Impulsiveness

Left to right organization possibly rebellious

Position of first drawing

Normal is within upper third of page Egocentric within 3 inch square of center of paper Abnormal within one inch of edge of paper Shows orientation of individual to his/her world Center of the page, especially enlarged
Narcissism Egocentrism Passive oppositionalism

Use of space
Space between drawings
Excessive space
Immaturity Acting out

Constricted space
Passive Withdrawn Schizoid tendencies

Running together or overlapping figures

Broadest terms loss of control Poor anticipatory planning Difficulty with figure/ground relationships
Could be neurological (cortical dysfunction)


Shift in position of the paper rotation of paper

Latent or passive oppositional tendencies

Closure difficulty difficulty joining parts

Difficulty maintaining relationships

Fearfulness in relationships Emotional disturbance

Crossing difficulty difficulty crossing lines in figures 6 and 7

Psychological blocking (preventing decisions) Indecisiveness Compulsive doubting Phobias

Curvature Difficulty obvious change in curves

Emotional disturbance Increased curves emotionality Decreases repression of emotions Can indicate depression

Change in angulations angle of part of figure 15% or more from card

Problems with emotional control Problems with impulse control Associated with organic brain damage, particularly when more severe

Perceptual rotation entire figure rotated while card and paper are in standard positions
Severe disturbance in ego functioning Often in people who are psychotic Sometimes oppositional Clockwise can indicate depression if mild Counterclockwise can indicate oppositional tendencies if mild

Retrogression substitute more primitive Gestalt form (dashes for dots)

Defense against trauma failure of ego
Some types of schizophrenia

Anxiety and poor defenses Always indicates severe pathology in adults

Reduce involvement in an external task, reduce energy expended Often related to organic problems

Unfinished or incomplete Problems in abstract thinking or synthesizing gestalts

Overlapping Difficulty
Overlap when not in stimulus card Failure to overlap Usually associated with brain damage

Elaboration or Doodling
Impulse control Intense anxiety

Marked difficulty in ego control

Redrawing Total Figure

Absence of adequate anticipatory planning Temporal brain damage Also associated with obsessive behavior

Case 1

Card A

Card 1

Card 1 Enhanced

Card 2

Card 3

Card 4

Card 5

Card 6

Card 6 Enhanced

Card 7

Card 8

Case 2

Case 2 Enhanced