Bird’s Nest Drawing Assessment

The Bird’s Nest Drawing assessment (BND) was developed in 1996 as a way to glean information about an individual’s attachment, security, and internal representation of themself and others. This week, MPS Art Therapy students enrolled in the ‘Assessment and Diagnosis’ class drew their own birds’ nests and learned about the indicators that can be found in it.

The BND provides symbolic imagery to reveal attachment styles and family dynamics within a person. A bird’s nest can illustrate this through the content included or left out of the drawing. For example, having grounded figures (birds and/or eggs) that are spatially logical and fully formed speaks to a secure attachment. A nest without a bottom, disproportionately sized figures, or strange marks on the page could be signs of an insecure attachment.

Like all assessments, the BND is used to provide insight about what could possibly be going on, rather than diagnosing a client immediately. This assessment can certainly provide insight into the individual’s emotional state or experience but does not speak to definites.

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