The Ultimate Psychology Test For Couples

The couples psychology test is an interesting projective tool that can tell you a few things about the bond you have with someone. It provides information about the quality of a relationship between two people.
The ultimate psychology test for couples

The couples psychology test is a projective examination. Its purpose is to detect the identity and type of bond between two people. Through this test you can learn about fears, underlying desires or fantasies and even possible latent conflicts in a relationship, regardless of its nature (romantic, friendly, familiar, etc.)

This is one of the most interesting projective and complex tools when it comes to evaluating your connection with someone else. It’s not the usual pedigree or the family drawing test. It is basically an exercise where the evaluated person has to perform two tasks: he has to make a drawing and then make a story about it.

The data you can get from this test can be very revealing, as long as you are honest throughout the process. However, sometimes the age of the patient or even the presence of a mental disorder can make it difficult to do it.

However, its application is more common in the relational sphere. Therefore, the information it provides is generally quite interesting.

Drawing of a couple

The Ultimate Couples Psychology Test: Objectives, Application and Interpretation

Douglas Bernstein created this couples psychology test in 1964. To design it, he used Machover’s human figure drawing. The purpose of this tool was to evaluate concepts such as self-esteem, self-image, personality factors, fears, desires, trauma, and so on.

However, there is a concrete reason behind Bernstein’s publication of this test. He wanted to have a projective tool that would help evaluate the relational factor. In this way he would be able to analyze how an individual sees and experiences his relationship with his loved ones.

The test therefore examines both conscious and unconscious aspects. In addition to making a drawing, this test requires the patient to create a story about the two figures he depicts on that piece of paper.

This exercise outlines something that defines a big part of our lives: stories. Everyone  shapes their own reality based on a story that makes sense to them, for better or for worse.

Sometimes it can be real, and other times it can be supported by biased, wrong or even invented ideas due to some kind of defense mechanism.

What exactly does the psychological relationship test evaluate?

It evaluates dyadic relationships. When conducting the test, the goal is for the person to represent themselves and their relationship with someone important to them.

  • The goal is to get to know your own personality traits, as well as that of the other person, and especially the quality of the relationship.
  • As we mentioned above, this test would allow you to appreciate the conscious and unconscious aspects. Real problems can arise, such as communicating or showing affection. But you might also discover underlying desires (need for recognition or attention…)
  • Children as young as 7 years old can take this test. However, the primary goal is to learn more about the quality of a couple’s relationship.

The structure of the psychology test for couples

Let’s look at this in steps:

  • The ‘patient’ is first presented with a piece of paper and a pencil.
  • He must draw two people (without specifying who they are).
  • Then he has to give the two figures a name and an age.
  • Then it’s time to write a short story about those two people, expressing what they think and how they feel.
  • Finally, a title must be given to the story.

Test analysis

The interpretation of this projective test follows three aspects:


  • Gender, age and the link with the assessed person.
  • Realistic or slightly invented image.
  • What is the couple doing? Do they talk, hold hands, and so on? Is there any distance between the two?

Underlying aspects

  • Which figure represents the evaluated person? Do they play some kind of role (passive, paternal, maternal, submissive, or evasive)?
  • What are they projecting onto the other person? A need for attention, fear, distance or desire?
  • Is there a rejection between the two figures? Is there some form of contact or communication?

Graphic aspects

  • The psychologist must take into account the size of the drawing, the placement of the figures and the type of tracing (shaky or confident and calm).
  • Do the figures have a human appearance or are they cartoonish? Is there a symbolic or salient feature (distorted or evil-looking, for example)?
A drawing as part of the couples psychology test

Aspects related to the story

  • It is important to identify the type of story. What does it portray? Is the assessed person happy, needy, or anxious?
  • Distinguish between aspects that refer to reality and that represent desires or aspirations.
  • Coherence throughout the story.
  • Context in which the story unravels.
  • Title rating: Does it reflect the story? What is the message behind it? Why did the reviewer choose this title specifically?

Finally, if you’re wondering about the effectiveness of this test, it’s worth noting that it’s a projective test. This is a backup tool:  it’s not good for a diagnosis on its own, but just an addition to other tests and interviews that collect as much information as possible.

However, it is still a very interesting resource that specialists can use to support their research of a patient.

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