Projective Testing assesses a person's emotional functioning and personality dynamics. Projective tests include but are not limited to the Rorschach Ink Blots, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), House-Tree-Person Figure Drawings (HTP), and Sentence Completion.
Patients are referred for projective testing by physicians, therapists, or schools looking to answer questions regarding behavior, mood, and emotional functioning.
The measures used are labeled projectives because whether offering a verbal response to an ink blot, completing Sentence Completion phrases with the first "thing" that come to mind, or drawing pictures and telling stories about the illustrations, the patient is literally projecting their emotional material onto otherwise innocuous pictures or blank pieces of paper.
Of course one response or story does not make for an interpretation, however themes arise over several different measures providing insight into a patient's personality characteristics and affect.
In many instances the client's approach to these open-ended tasks is as informative as their responses. In turn, what goes unstated is often as revealing as the content of the projective responses.
Responses to projective items will change over time due to naturally occurring cognitive development and emotional maturation or specific situational factors, which actually renders these assessment tools even more useful.
Unfortunately as graduate schools look for greater empirical evidence when assessing personality and emotional functioning, projective testing is becoming a lost art. Nonetheless projectives are a powerful and cogent diagnostic tool when administered and interpreted in conjunction with observation by a skilled and experienced practitioner.
1. 60 to 90 minute clinical Interview with parent(s) or adult patient.
2. One, 2-hour test session.
3. 60-90 minute feedback session with parent(s) or adult patient.
4. Generating a comprehensive written report.