Drawings—A Way of Understanding: An Introduction
In the capacity of a school-based psychologist, I had evaluated hundreds of young people of every age range, from preschool through high school, for learning, emotional, and developmental disorders. Projective drawing tests such as the Draw-a-Person Test (DAPT), the House-Tree-Person (H-T-P), and the Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD) were commonly included in my standard assessment battery. Such tests required examinees to draw and discuss people, objects, or situations in order to promote understanding of psychological factors. With regular implementation of these projective drawing measures, I came to see that, at minimum, youngsters’ verbal communications could be substantially facilitated. More so, the drawings and stories would often provide unanticipated, salient revelations about the examinee’s thoughts, feelings, perspectives, and life circumstances. These illuminating encounters with projective drawing tasks caused me to appreciate and respect how unique understandings might be gained if one is receptive to their use as a clinical tool and approach when working with young people.