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The History of Tree Reading

History of Tree Reading • It was Jung and Freud with the help of other psychologist had discovered that tree reading could be used to assess an individual.

• They had started to understand symbols (trees and otherwise) as a strong metaphor of the unconscious mind, especially in terms of ideals

• Jung was able to show that all creative works were able to express some inner nature of the artist or creator that was spontaneous, and at the time, unexamined

• Tree Reading was also referred as “Projected Assessment” – The person was projecting him or herself (feelings, emotions, styles, etc) into whatever object they were asked to draw

• According to Dr. Phillip Greenway – trees have represented a life force and connection with the cosmos because it can mean maturity, cycle of nature, decline and even death if you follow a tree throughout the seasons.

• Trees also symbolize humanity’s interaction with the world • With their roots reaching deep into the earth, trees have also evoked man to wonder about the underworld and its untold mysteries

• In 1926, Florence Goodenough created the first major drawing test was called “Draw a Person” test – It was used to measure intelligence (not personality)

• She also started off working on the standard Stanford Binet IQ test, which is still used to assess a person’s IQ

• Karen Machover used the Draw a Person test in 1949 to help her understand a patient’s personality and behavior • Psychologists started seeing the image of a tree in 1958 due to Emanuel Hammer discovering that the tree symbolizes a person’s inner feelings and emotions about him or herself

• It was Charles Koch that formalized the approach that drawings could be used to discover a person’s personality – His reasoning was that humans often expressed themselves in how they interacted with the environment.

• John Buck held several presentations where he warned psychological professionals to be wary about their interpretations. Since these drawings rely on interpretations and people tend to take on labels if they hear them, giving the wrong interpretation could be dangerous.

• Tree drawing waned away from the professional light, but it’s used today to help discover a person’s personality because it can be used to open conversations and understand a person.

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The history of tree reading