House TreePerson HTP

The HTP art assessment was introduced by John Buck in the late 1940s and was "designed to aid the clinician in obtaining information concerning an individual's sensitivity, maturity, efficiency, degree of personality integration, and interaction with the environment, specifically and generally" (Buck, 1966, p. 1).

The structural elements of DAP interpretation explained in the DAP section and Appendix A remain the same in the HTP. However, this is where the similarity ends. The HTP's formal details offer a degree of breadth to the art projective test that also encompasses the individual's relation to the environment. The elements that Buck has added (house and tree) "are believed to represent the subject's awareness of and interest in the elemental aspects of everyday life" (Buck, 1948, p. 49). If we hearken back to the cognitive theory of Piaget, the child gains an increased interest in his environment with each passing day until, in the 9th year (concrete operations), he or she looks within a larger system—the system of deductive thought. It is this deductive thought that allows the child to examine rules for all their details—the rules of space, time, proportion, and size. Consequently, in the interpretation of the HTP the therapist must assess all of the drawing's interrelated parts for their relationship to one another as well as the degree of essential detailing. By applying developmental theory to the assessment process a clinician therefore gains a glimpse into the intelligence of any given client. With time and practice it is pos-

Reading Between the Lines Table 3.1 Normative Stages in Children's Art

Age Characteristic

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