The House-Tree-Person Assessment: Self And Family Development By John Buck

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The House-Tree-Person (H-T-P) assessment was developed by John Buck in 1948 and is considered a projective technique (Killian, 1985). H-T-P involves asking a person to draw a house, a tree, and a person on separate pieces of paper (Haworth, 1946).

The main purpose of the House-Tree-Person assessment when it was first created was both to measure an individual’s intelligence level and as a projection of personality. However, the House-Tree-Person assessment is rarely used as an intelligence tool anymore and is currently utilized to assess an individual’s personality dynamic (Haworth, 1946). The backers of H-T-P believe that professionals can become aware of their client’s unconscious and conscious struggles through analyzing specific details such as page placement, line quality, perspective, and proportion (Haworth, 1946). The three objects: the house, the tree, and the person, are thought to have symbolic importance. Indeed, the house drawing signifies the client’s home and family relationships, the tree reflects unconscious feelings about the self and their perceived future, and the person symbolizes the individual’s more conscious view of the self and interpersonal functioning (Killian, 1985). In essence, these drawings are used to “assess an individual’s efficiency, sensitivity, maturity, flexibility, personality integration, and level of interaction with the environment by allowing subjects to paint a picture of their world where each drawing is assumed to represent aspects of a self-portrait (Killian, 1985).”
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However, psychologists and clinicians have successfully used this assessment with children. Thus, the revised manual states that there are no specific age limitations. H-T-P can be also used with disabled individuals, including hearing impaired persons, and handicapped children (Killian,

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