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H-T-P (House Tree Person)

The house-tree-person test (HTP) is a projective personality test, a type of exam in which the test taker responds to or provides ambiguous, abstract, or unstructured stimuli (often in the form of pictures or drawings).

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H-T-P (House Tree Person)

  1. 1. H-T-P House –Tree-Person
  2. 2. What is HTP? The house-tree-person test (HTP) is a projective personality test, a type of exam in which the test taker responds to or provides ambiguous, abstract, or unstructured stimuli (often in the form of pictures or drawings).
  3. 3. Historical background HTP was designed by John Buck and was originally based on the Goodenough scale of intellectual functioning. It was developed in 1948, and updated in 1969. Buck included both qualitative and quantitative measurements of intellectual ability in the HTP (V).
  4. 4. 350-page manual was written by Buck to instruct the test-giver on proper grading of the HTP, which is more subjective than quantitative. In contrast with him, Zoltán Vass published a more sophisticated approach, based on system analysis (SSCA, Seven-Step Configuration Analysis.
  5. 5. Author Current: Executive Coach and Psychologist at The Collabrium John N Buck
  6. 6. Nature Purpose • The primary purpose of the HTP is to measure aspects of a person's personality through interpretation of drawings and responses to questions. • Tests requiring human figure drawings were already being utilized as projective personality tests.
  7. 7. Precautions Because it is mostly subjective, scoring and interpreting the HTP is difficult. Anyone administering the HTP must be properly trained. The test publishers provide a detailed 350-page administration and scoring manual.
  8. 8. Description The HTP can be given to anyone over the age of three. Because it requires test takers to draw pictures, it is often used with children and adolescents. It is also often used with individuals suspected of having brain damage or other neurological impairment. The test takes an average of 150 minutes to complete; it may take less time with normally functioning adults and much more time with neurologically impaired individuals.
  9. 9. Administration • Pencil & white paper • Patient asked to draw a good house (as good as possible), take as much time as needed, erase anything you need to. • Then the pencil is taken away & you can use crayons in anyway to shade in or draw.
  10. 10. Scoring The HTP is scored in both an objective quantitative manner and a subjective qualitative manner. The quantitative scoring scheme involves analyzing the details of drawings to arrive at a general assessment of intelligence, using a scoring method devised by the test creators.
  11. 11. Research has shown this assessment of intelligence correlates highly with other intelligence tests such as the Wechsler adult intelligence scale (WAIS).
  12. 12. Interpretation HOUSE It is loosely based on research and on the symbolic meaning of the aspects of the house. They should hopefully be nurturing places with normal levels of detail and normal size. Too little and the client may reject family life; too big and they may be overwhelmed by it.
  13. 13. • Lines and walls represent boundaries and strengths of the ego
  14. 14. • The roof symbolizes the fantasy life
  15. 15. • Windows, doors, and sidewalks are all ways that others enter or see into the house, so they relate to openness, willingness to interact with others, and ideas about the environment. Thus, shades, shutters, bars, curtains, and long and winding sidewalks indicate some unwillingness to reveal much about yourself (think about expression like windows to the soul or the door to the mind).
  16. 16. • Cars could be signs of visitors coming or people in the home leaving. Lights could be signs to welcome visitors or reveal prowlers. Open doors or many windows could mean strong needs to engage others. Big windows, especially in the bathroom, could be exhibitionistic desires
  17. 17. Psychotics tends to show groundlines (their need for grounding), clear visions of the insides of the house (they believe their thoughts and mind are open to view by others), strange angles (like their strange thought processes), or a house on the verge of a collapse (like their ego).
  18. 18. TREE • The trunk is seen to represent the ego, sense of self, and the intactness of the personality. Thus heavy lines or shadings to represent bark indicate anxiety about one's self, small trunks are limited ego strength, large trunks are more strength A tree split down the middle, as if hit by lightening, can indicate a fragmented personality and serious mental illness, or a sign of organicity.
  19. 19. • Limbs are the efforts our ego makes to "reach out" to the world and support "things that feed us" what we need. Thus, limbs detached are difficulties reaching out, or efforts to reach out that we can't control. Small branches are limited skills to reach out, while big branches may be too much reaching out to meet needs. Club shaped branches or very pointy ones represent aggressiveness. Gnarled branches are "twisted" and represent being "twisted" in some efforts to reach out. Dead branches mean emptiness and hopelessness.
  20. 20. • Leaves are signs that efforts to reach out are successful, since leaves growing mean the tree is reaching out to the sun and getting food and water.  No leaves could mean feeling barren, while leaves detached from the branches mean the nurturing we get is not very predictable.
  21. 21.  Pointy leaves could be aggression, obsessive attention to detail on the leaves could be Obsessive Compulsive tendencies.
  22. 22. • Roots are what "ground" the tree and people, and typically relate to reality testing and orientation. No roots can mean insecurity and no feeling of being grounded, overemphasized roots can be excessive concern with reality testing, while dead roots can mean feelings of disconnection from reality, emptiness, and despair.
  23. 23. Other details: Christmas trees after the season is over can mean regressive fantasies (thinking about holidays and family and good times to make yourself feel better).
  24. 24. PERSON The idea is that the person of the same sex is like you, and the person of the opposite sex is what you may not admit is like you. Very Jungian when you think of it, in that the opposite sex is the anima or animus.
  25. 25. • Arms are the way we reach out to the environment, and hands the way we effect it. Open arms indicate willingness to engage, closed arms are defensiveness, disconnected arms are powerlessness... pointed fingers or balled fists can be aggression, hidden or gloved hands can be anxiety or antisocial tendencies... It could also be difficulty drawing good hands.
  26. 26. • Legs and feet are also like the roots of trees, and represent grounding and power too. If cut off at the bottom of the paper (think of cutting someone off at the knees) it can mean loss of autonomy, small feet (inadequate base) can indicate a need for security, while big feet can indicate the same.
  27. 27. • The neck separates the head (cognition) from the body (drives and needs), so no neck is no separation, long neck is desire for more separation of the two, etc...
  28. 28. • Mouth is how we get needs met (think Freud and oral stuff), so big or open mouth is neediness, cupid bow or luscious lips is sexualized needs, closed tight mouth is denial of needs or some passive-aggression, and frowns, sneers, and smiles mean with they do in real life. There is limited support for oral- dependency themes, and more for slash mouths and teeth to be consistent with verbal aggression.
  29. 29. • Genitalia, breasts, etc... are seldom drawn, and indicate sexual concerns and discomfort. Emphasis on breasts though are not uncommon in prepubescent girls, and both disturbed and non-disturbed boys emphasize pectorals.
  30. 30. Drawing clowns (hiding face and person), robots (loss of emotions in a psychotic way), cowboys (masculinized needs), snowmen (rounded bodies, regressive themes), stick man (childish or regressive themes) etc... can mean what is noted in parenthesis above.
  31. 31. Excessive details are consistent with some obsessiveness when dealing with anxiety, while a marked lack of detail can indicate withdrawal, low energy, or boredom
  32. 32. References Richard Niolon, Ph.D., Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Spring 2003 se_tree_person_drawings.htm Inv/House-tree-person-test.html
  33. 33. Presented by: Ayen, Ella Mae D. Azuma, Mikki Bagon, Karyn Joy G. Baloria Christine May
  34. 34. Thank You and Godbless! 

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The house-tree-person test (HTP) is a projective personality test, a type of exam in which the test taker responds to or provides ambiguous, abstract, or unstructured stimuli (often in the form of pictures or drawings).


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