With the help of this artful personality test you can clearly analyze your own self-image – including character traits and inner contradictions. From how and what you draw appears clear who you think you are.
This personality test may seem designed especially for children, but it is certainly very useful for adults as well. The test is used in clinics, psychotherapeutic practices and departments of educational psychology, among others.
What exactly is the HBP personality test?
All participants are given a set of colored pencils and a white sheet of paper and are asked to draw a house (H), a tree (B) and a person (P). The underlying goal is to identify your most common and most hidden inner conflicts in this way.
Based on such a simple drawing, the analyst can predict certain characteristics of the individual concerned using only everyday objects. You will probably miss it, but when you draw a house, a tree and a person, you are revealing (by doing) things that you normally, for various reasons, keep out of the picture (and in your subconscious).
You don’t have to be a Picasso at all to ‘pass’ this test. What matters is that you recognize the hints that the drawing itself already provides. What can the drawing reveal? In a general sense , it can represent who you really are (or think you are) in relation to a familiar environment (such as your home or garden) and to your family and friends.
The two phases of the HBP test
This self-reflective experiment goes much deeper than just drawing a house with a tree and a person next to it. So don’t take it too lightly. In the first non-verbal and creative part of this test, the subject is asked to draw three things. The examiner or instructor will suggest drawing as naturally as possible and forgetting context as much as possible (both the test itself and its ‘assessment’ or interpretation). While the subject is drawing, the analyst carefully studies their posture, body language, and verbal commentary. A person may express frustration, anger, contentment, etc.
Once the drawing is finished or time is up, phase two begins , in which the candidate is asked to tell an accompanying story using all three verb forms (past, present, and future).
An alternative option for the contemplative part of the test is that the specialist prepares a series of questions in advance and then submits them to the ‘drawer’. People who have trouble expressing themselves, or children who are unable to put their story into practice, are both helped and motivated.
When, why and how do I take the HBP test?
The official age indication for this test is: from 8 years and older. This means that, in principle, anyone who can draw a house, a tree and a human-like doll can also be analysed. For adults, it may feel a bit strange to come to a consultation with a professional counselor or trained researcher and be asked to draw a picture in the middle of the session. However, the results are usually very interesting.
To take full advantage of the test, it is recommended that it be administered in a calm, distraction-free environment where the patient feels comfortable. An office space is therefore ideal because of the privacy it offers. Furthermore, the necessary materials (paper, pencils, eraser) must of course be present.
You may erase things, but that is also included in the analysis. For example, erasing your entire drawing when it is just finished, or appears to be finished, is quite different from simply smoothing out a few lines for improvement.
The HBP test takes approximately 30 to 60 minutes, depending on how long it takes the patient to complete his drawing satisfactorily and tell the accompanying story. In addition, it also depends on their own attitude and whether the analyst decides to ask clarifying questions at the end.
What is the thinking behind the HBP test?
The logic speaks for itself. The test is based on the idea that drawings, and the activity of drawing itself, can give shape to our feelings – past, present and even future desires. Each element symbolizes a specific aspect of our experience: the house represents our family situation or relationship, the tree shows our deepest sense of identity and the doll is a kind of self-portrait in which our conscience and defense mechanisms are unconsciously incorporated.
The location of each object on the page is also analyzed. For example, drawing near the top of the paper may indicate dream content and imaginative influence, while drawing near the bottom of the sheet rather represents the ordinary material world. In terms of temporal reference, the right implies the future, the middle the present and the left the past.
The analyst also pays attention to the relative size of each element, the pencil pressure of each stroke and stroke (associated with strength or weakness), and the clarity or fuzziness of your illustration. It is also fascinating that every part of the house, the tree and the person in turn also has an associated meaning.
We will not give away all the details here, so that you may someday be able to take the test yourself with some open-mindedness. But a little tip of the veil can’t hurt: the roof of the house represents your spirituality and intellect, the tree trunk represents your livelihood or the things that keep you alive and the hands of the doll show your emotions.
As in all so-called projective tests, the quality of the information obtained is closely related to your own commitment and surrender to the process. Because with which attitude you draw and tell the story, also determines to what extent the analyst can correctly distinguish between the relevant and irrelevant components of your drawing.