The IATRD is in its preliminary phase of development. Later this year, qualified individuals will be able to request a user name for access to the database collections.
The Person Picking an Apple From a Tree (PPAT) (Gantt, 1990) drawing-based assessment is used to determine the correlation of mental health symptoms with specific variables in client drawings. Participants are directed to use the standardized materials, a set of 12 Mr. Sketch™ scented markers and a 12” by 18” piece of white paper, and asked to “draw a picture of a person picking an apple from a tree.” The drawing is evaluated using 14 equal-appearing interval measurement scales in the Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale (FEATS) Rating Manual (Gantt & Tabone, 1998). The formal elements, or global variables, are tied to symptoms of specific DSM-IV TR Axis-I mental disorders. The PPAT and its corresponding rating system, the “Formal Elements Art Therapy Scale” (FEATS), have been widely researched with a variety of patient cohorts (Betts, 2005, 2006; Binns, 1994; Brown, 2004; Bucciarelli, 2007, in press; Charney, 2002; Chezar, 2004; Cirillo, 2009; Cox, Agell, Cohen & Gantt, 2000; Dolce, 1999; Gantt, 1990, 1993, 2001, Gantt, 2004; Gantt & Tabone, 1998, 2003; Gantt & Tinnin, 2007; Gussak, 2004, 2006, 2009; Jimerson, 2002; Melbihess, 2001; Munley, 1996, 2002; Rockwell & Dunham, 2006; Shamma, 2005; Spinelli, 2004; White, Wallace & Huffman, 2004; Wallace, Yorgin, Carolan, Moore, Sanchez, Belson, Yorgin, Major, Granucci, Alexander & Arrington, 2004; Williams, Agell, Gantt & Goodman, 1996). More recent studies reflect improvements to the validity and reliability of the PPAT.
Making current data widely available via the proposed database will ultimately facilitate convenient access to the data to aid art therapists in the process of evaluation, treatment planning, therapy and research. Normative data (Bucciarelli, 2007, in press) will be added to the database initially, serving as a foundation upon which later data (normative and patient cohorts) can be added. Because many aspects of the art therapy approach differ from the psychological projective approach, the art therapy approach is a promising and novel one. For example, the PPAT is good at determining state (as opposed to trait) and as such it is an easy assessment to administer multiple times (and the assessment time needed is short). In this way, the PPAT has benefits over other assessments that take longer to administer and score. If PPAT data is correlated with another assessment that is longer, then the PPAT becomes a useful short-cut with little sacrifice of information. So, the PPAT is particularly useful for monitoring therapy and ensuring treatment progress.