The Fairy Tale Test is a projective test for children aged 6-12 yrs and has been developed as part of a doctoral thesis by Carina Coulacoglou, at the University of Exeter in Great Britain (1989-1993). Since then it has been translated and standardized in different countries. It has already been published in French, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Slovenian, Polish and Russian.
The test consists of: 21 cards (7 sets of cards)(designed by the artist and graphic designer Anthony Glykos), each set consisting of three cards presented to the child at a time, a manual, and 25 protocols which demonstrate the general set of questions the child is asked as well as his responses.
The characters depicted on the cards are part of one or more fairy tales (“Little Red Riding Hood”, “Snow White and the seven dwarfs”, “Jack and the Beanstalk” etc.). In the stories, the thoughts and emotions of the characters are not clearly defined, for example, the reader is unaware of the underlying motive of the wolf’s violent behavior: was he hungry or bad? Therefore, the children through the process of identification, project their own thoughts, emotions or conflicts, whereas in the “scenes” of the two fairy tales (the last 2 sets of cards) they have the opportunity to develop their own story and sequence of events, independently of their familiarity with the actual version of the story.
Purpose and Application
The broader purpose of using the FTT is to help the therapist assess the child’s personality dynamics, offering information not just about single personality traits, but also about their interrelations. The FTT can be effectively employed for: (1) personality assessment for research purposes (developmental, cross cultural and longitudinal studies), (2) diagnostic evaluation of clinical studies (severe psychopathology or disturbance as an outcome of ephemeral traumatic or stressful events, and (3) evaluation of psychotherapeutic treatment.
The Theoretical background of the Fairy Tale Test consists of Psychoanalytic theories of personality (eg. ego analytic and object relations theories).