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The Drawing a Person Test

A projective test for children and adults

1987, pgg. 322

Once we overcame the past claims, aiming at the projective tests to become a unique and all-powerful tool in
the field of psychodiagnosis, they may now become a suitable and stimulating tool in the hands of an
experienced clinical psychologist.
Teaching the DPT in two courses on psychodiagnosis for physicians and psychologists, allowed me to
organize the second part of the book (practical part) in a didactic way.
I followed two basic principles:
a) from simple to complex in a concentric way
b) an image explains much more than words.
According to the first principle, I planned the correction in levels of interpretation (first, second, third and
fourth level): this in order to avoid confusion due to the variety of elements to be considered.
The second principle induced me to insert in the text many patients’ drawings. This makes the book longer,
but much more assimilable for those who don’t have the luck to frequent a course of psychodiagnosis.




Chapter I - Values and limits of a test

1. Placing oneself
2. The story as a help to face oneself
3. Elements to be aware of when using a test
a. Knowledge is historical
b. Awareness of patient’s, therapist’s and diagnostician’s scheme of reference
c. Statistical probability and different levels of responses
d. Awareness that the reaction is to pointed stimulus
e. The test is a comprehension of the present behaviour in order to foresee the future behaviour

Chapter II - The body schema as self-image. The Draw a Person Test as testing self-image

1. Body schema
2. Perception of the body schema
a. Sensitive perception of the body schema
b. Body schema and it’s emotional perception. Importance of the most stimulated and most
meaningful parts of the body for the construction of the body schema
3. The habits of the body schema
4. An instrument which help to perceive the individual body schema and his more common habits
5. A short history about the development of graphism as an instrument to make projections
6. A way to study drawings in order to use it as a projective test

Chapter III - Developmental elements in the development of drawing a person

1. Previous statement
2. Development of the representation of the human person

Chapter IV - A psychopathological theory. A referring psychopathological framework

1. Previous statement
2. Presuppositions
a. Relation Ego-Whole
b. Relations among Egos
3. Ego facing Ego (oneself)
a. Awareness as a meeting point. I see myself differently from how you see me
b. Ego’s strength
4. Energy-drive and it’s strength
a. Outside-inside (= where does drive come from)

i. The way how Outside (G) – Inside (B) relate
b. The languages of energy
i. The rational way
ii. The imaginary way
iii. The emotional way
iv. The body way
5. Relation between the Ego’s strength and the drive’s strength
6. Key principles for a psychopathological framework
a. White and black psychosis
b. Borderline situations and narcissism
c. Nevrosis
7. Conclusive observations


Chapter V - Administration
1. Athmosphere between subject and psychodiagnostician
2. Environment
3. Material
4. Recievers
5. Instructions
6. Time
7. Observing subject’s behaviour
8. Other ways of administration
9. Relation with other tests

Chapter VI - Correction at the first level

1. Previous statement
2. Who the subject draws
3. Attitude of the drawer
4. Important elements omitted
5. Severe elements of pathology as regards graphological laws
6. Very meaningful elements about content
7. Symbolic drawings

Chapter VII - Correction at the second level

1. Introduction
2. Formal structural aspects
3. Graphological aspects
4. Symbolic elements

Chapter VIII - Interpretation at the third level

1. Head
2. Neck
3. Trunk
4. Arms and legs

Chapter IX - Interpretation at the fourth level

1. Previous statement
2. Elements emerging from drawing the family and the group of friends
3. Interpretation of the drawing a group of same aged people

Chapter X - The D.P.T. and different psychpathological situations

1. Previuos statements
2. Mental delay and neurological deseases of the central nervous system
3. White and black psychosis
4. Borderline and narcissism
5. Nevrosis

1. Correction grid
2. Short grid for the Family Drawing
3. Description of the sample
4. Examples: case 1, case 2, case 3, case 4, case 5.