Sunday, October 24, 2010

Drawing Your Brains Out

All the psychiatric patients this month have been asked to draw a house, tree and person. Until recently I thought this was simple art therapy, but as it turns out, this is a well established test designed in 1947.

HTP Test

What was once an elementary school drawing exercise has now become a psychiatric tool for evaluating patient generalizations of the world around them and how they participate in it. The test has been detailed in a 350 page book and is estimated to take 150 minutes from start to finish. Evaluators are encouraged to ask questions about the details to really understand how the individual interprets their world.

The house tells us about associations at home including intrafamilial relationships and their attitude towards their home life. The tree and person reveal personality through body image and self-concept. Images are evaluated for line strokes, erasing, detail, proportion, and view point among other things. Everything from the roof, door, windows and smoke are interpreted. The branches, trunk, colors and person size have equal importance. Although intriguing, there is more to read than I could possibly explain here. For those who might be interested, check out the Kinetic House-Tree-Person Interpretation Manual.

I only wish I had tried my hand at drawing these before getting a run down of the evaluating criteria. It would have provided a more genuine representation of my psyche.

Question of the Week
A 47 year old woman presents with complaints of malaise and burning upon urination. She has a temperature of 39.6. Urinalysis is positive for nitrites and leukocyte esterase. A feature of the agent most likely responsible for this patient’s condition is:

A. A cell that is purple upon completion of the gram staining technique
B. A cell that is colorless after addition of ethanol during the gram stain procedure
C. An entity unable to live outside of a cell
D. A microorganism whose wall contains teichoic acid
E. A microorganism that requires an aerobic environment

Answer & Explanation


Post a Comment

Share a suggestion, question or just leave your mark.

Subscribe to Life as a Medical Student