Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 15, Number 1, Jan 2008 Editorial
|1. Editorial: Basing SIS Theory in Psycho-physiologic Reality, Wilfred A. Cassell, pages 1-2.
Future SIS workers can expect to see an explosive growth in scientific studies on brain functions and "Consciousness". These are likely to stem from the rapidly expanding field of genetics. The groundwork for these was laid in the last century with animal breeding experiments. An example involves Russian work in breeding a strain of foxes having reduced aggression.
Due to immense leaps forward in the technical ability of geneticists to alter DNA, futurists now are making what now seem like fantastic science fiction predictions. Their vision of moving forward with man-made evolutionary body-mind repackaging, challenges our society to constantly update SIS theory and technology.
A continuation of a strategy of moving from the known to probing the frontiers of the unknown is likely to continue to prove promising. The precedence for this was established in 1959 by starting from a foundation of psychophysiologic based conceptualizing. In the original conceptual model, the first heart like SIS inkblots was created in order to study the interface in consciousness between sensory feedback and cardiovascular physiologic activity. Since then a few pioneering studies have been completed consistent with this approach. None have benefited from the vast financial and multi-discipline support required.
Modern technical developments such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) now enable neuroscientists to determine which regions of the brain are being used at any moment in response to external stimulation. Evidence from FMRI studies indicates that there are two parallel pathways from visual centers to the rest of the brain. One conducting imagery with an anxiety/threat affect linkage provides an instantaneous warning of danger. This system should be of particular interest to future SIS scientists. Recall that our rating of the 62 items in the detailed enquiry follow-up interview is based upon an anxiety/threat hierarchy scale.
Also relevant is psychophysiological research using modern methods for studying brain function following severe stressful events.. Apparently these memories are stored separately in brain structures, such as the amygdala, differently than other types of information. Our clinical studies in PTSD have shown that the hypnotic-like aspects of floral scenes can release from neural memory storage such long forgotten traumatic experiences. Moreover the SIS robotic technique of artificial intelligence also brings to the surface of consciousness the emotionally disturbing image specific affect.
While this release of PTSD material has led to innovative diagnostic/therapeutic applications, it is not without occupational risk to the SIS clinician, because of exposure to "Secondary" or "Empathetic" dramatization. Recently researchers have studied this phenomenon. For example, one group experimentally observed the telling of emotionally charged stories to those who have identified with victims. Remarkable enough, they found that for some this emotionally charged material could trigger stressful psycho-physiological responses in the listener, replicating those in the original victims.
Following up on such work, neurophysiologists have discovered a new group of brain cells which they called "Mirror Neurons''. The background for this discovery involved the long standing literature on the pain phenomenon. When a patient is poked with a needle, neurons in the anterior cingulate, which receive sensory input from the amygdala, become activated. Subsequently it has been found that these pain sensing neurons designed to alert to the potential of danger also fire when one empathetic person watches another being similarly poked. Such experimental work has underlined the importance of empathetic stress as a real phenomenon. This poses a daily risk for SIS clinicians.
Such basic studies invite us to conceptualize more multidimensional models, when designing more "Intelligent" SIS "Robots" for stimulating imagery and processing feedback information. Now the content of consciousness may be studied while concurrently measuring physiologic activity, both in the nervous system and specific peripheral body regions. This methodology could be partially employed as well in other higher species where genetic manipulation of the nervous system is more feasible.
Until resources become available for such costly futuristic efforts, at least we can still contribute by staying current with image generating technological developments. Just as the source of visual stimulation has moved from a stable color-form stimulus array to a pulsating complex viewed on a television and/or computer monitor, plan for change. Future SIS visual/auditory stimulation may come from a new array of electronic "Gadgets".
Examples are smart phones that can function almost like pocket sized computers, advanced internet game consoles, digital-video recorders with terabytes of memory, etc.. People are able to network through various electronic communication modalities in ways that extend the boundaries of consciousness instantaneously across vast distances and dissolve cultural differences.
Future SIS students may expect to acquire innovative diagnostic/therapeutic psychological techniques, as well as DNA oriented custom made psychopharmacological treatments, yet unforeseeable. Let us hope that as mentors we are worthy of the challenge!
Wilfred A. Cassell, MD, FAPA, APC, Director, SIS Center, Editor Emeritus SIS Journal,
2. Viewing Holocaust Nightmares through the Lens of SIS Imagery: A Psycho-biographical Study, Wilfred A. Cassell, pages 3-24.
This is the first psycho-biographical study which used the power of SIS projective technique to access Holocaust memories. The volunteer is a clinical psychologist and authority on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Traditional interviews reveal only what a person is able to recall and then chooses to reveal. While these may be supplemented by information from tone of voice, body posture etc., such nonverbal sources have limitations. In many stressful situations, the mind can play tricks by defensively hiding relevant material. Moreover, verbal communication is limited by the number of words to communicate emotionally colored perceptions. The SIS-II video initially uses beautiful floral scenes to artificially induce a trance-like state facilitating the release of memories. In viewing semi-structured, yet ambiguous “Inkblots”, the released imagery is then projected. What is seen and felt can represent a rich supplemental source of information in a psychobiological study.
3. Dispositional Tendencies Exhibited Through Spontaneous Rorschach Card Rotation, Charles A. Waehler, Becky L. Tonn, Kristin E. Eisenhauer and John M. Laux, pages 25-34.
This study examined personality traits which may be associated with card turning behavior on the Rorschach Inkblot Test. In the first phase of this study, psychologists (N=46) familiar with the Rorschach were mailed a survey asking them to identify what personality traits they believed were associated with card rotation. Oppositionality, creativity, obsessive-compulsiveness, flexibility, curiosity, defensiveness, resistance, and suspiciousness ranked as the top eight personality traits identified by these experts. In the second phase of this study volunteer college student participants (N=62) were administered the Rorschach as well several personality measures to determine if relationships existed between card turning and the three most common traits identified by the experts. Forty-one participants (66%) turned the cards at least once. The results indicated that card turning was not associated with oppositionality (r = .24, p = .07), three measures of creativity (r = -.06, p = .67; r = -.03, p = .80; r = .25, p = .05), nor obsessive-compulsiveness (r = .01, p = .93). These correlations, along with frequency of card turning by card, are presented and discussed.
4. All Behavior is Meaningful: A Clinical Approach to Personality Assessment in the Context of Adult Psychotherapy, David Miller, pages 35-41.
During the last several decades there has been an increased emphasis on empirical, quantitative approaches to adult personality assessment. Although this development has led to many positive outcomes, it has frequently been suggested that omitting qualitative aspects of personality assessment results in a serious loss of clinically useful information. The purpose of this article is to discuss a clinical approach to adult personality assessment, in which emphasis is given to individuals’ unique and idiosyncratic manner of responding to the assessment situation rather than their test scores. A case example of a clinical approach to assessment is provided through use of the Lowenfeld Mosaic Test, including the implications of using this approach in the context of adult psychotherapy. Cautions and considerations in using a clinical approach to adult personality assessment also are provided.
5. Changes in Rorschach Indices: Pre and Post Treatment Assessment, Dharmendra Kumar Singh, Gobinda Majhi, Jai Prakashand Amool.R.Singh, pages 42-47.
The study is intended to see the pattern of changes in Rorschach indices after treatment. This is a four month follow up study based on pre and post test design. Fifty patients admitted in Ranchi Institute of Neuro-psychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS), Ranchi, India, in the age range of 21-45 yrs of either sex, meeting the ICD-10 DCR criteria of either Schizophrenia or Bipolar Affective Disorder (Mania), with minimum education up to primary level, were taken for the study, following purposive sampling technique. Findings of the study showed that after treatment, information processing capacity (W,D,F) as well as mediational and ideational aspects of personality(P,F,M) were significantly improved . Findings also revealed that features related to self perception and to some extent interpersonal relationships are less susceptible to change as compared to affective, cognitive and coping features. It has been concluded that the Rorschach test is an effective instrument to reflect and measure these changes.
6. Estimation of the Contribution of Gender in Productivity on SIS-I, R. Kumar, Ms. S. Kandhari and B.L.Dubey, pages 48-51.
Literature on SIS-I indicated gender differences in the productivity on SIS –I test. The study aimed to find out the quantum of the contribution of gender in productivity. The sample of 200 adults from the general population screened through the PGI Health Questionnaire (Verma et al, 1985) was administered SIS-I individually. The sample consisted of 82 male and 118 female participants. After exploring the fulfillment of the assumptions of parametric statistics, the regression analysis was performed to analyze the quantum of gender contribution. The results indicated a significant contribution of gender in productivity with a small effect size.
7. The Roles 0f Personality, Stressful Life Events, Meaning in Life, Reasons for Living on Suicidal Ideation: A Study in College Students, Atanu Kumar Dogra, Saugata Basu and Sanjukta Das, pages 52-57.
The present study aims to examine roles of personality, stressful life events in the last one year, presence of meaning, search for meaning, and reasons for living in predicting suicidal ideation of college students. Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) (Eysenck,1975),The Presumptive Stressful Life Event Scale or PSLES (Singh et al., 1984) , The Meaning in Life Questionnaire (Steger et al ., 2006 ) , Reasons for Living Inventory for Young Adults or RFL-YA (Gutierrrez, et al., 1992) ,The Adult Suicide Ideation Questionnaire or ASIQ (Reynoids,1987) were administered to 320 college students comprising of 160 males and 160- females, of 4 college of Kolkata. The obtained data have been analyzed using mean, standard deviation and hierarchical regression analysis . The present findings suggest that except stressful life events in the last one year, other predictor variables, i.e., personality, presence of meaning, search for meaning, reasons for living, contribute significantly to the criterion variable (suicidal ideation).
8. Sharing Experiences of CareGiving: A Qualitative Study on Caregivers of Patients with Severe Mental Disorders, Hardeep Lal Joshi, Anita Yadav and Himali Bangia, pages 58-64.
The present study was conducted on the primary caregivers of the patients with schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder. These patients are a major source of burden to their caregivers and families. The family members, also called primary caregivers, report high level of burden related to caring for their family member suffering from one of these disorders. The study was conducted on 60 caregivers using Focus Group Discussion as the method. This method was used to get the in-depth understanding of the burden and utilization of coping strategies by the caregivers. The themes that were the most resonant within the groups of caregivers were social stigma of mental illness, coping strategies, patient’s problems, and financial problems, effect on caregiver’s health, social isolation, and thoughts regarding leaving the patient.
9. A projective Sight on Male Anorexia: a Rorschach Test Exploration, S. Daini, L. Carotti, A. Manzo, C. Minerva and G. Mancano, pages 65-72.
The projective aspects of male anorexia have been less explored than female eating disorders. Studies with psychometric instruments outline gender identity problems, higher impulsiveness and lower drive in males than in females. The present study employed the Rorschach Test, on a sample of male anorexics (11 subjects), and compared it with psychiatric male patients and healthy controls, and females with eating disorders. The quantitative analysis on Rorschach’s fundamental variables, by ANOVA and MANOVA, shows that anorexic boys were more similar to male psychiatric patients and to anorexic girls than to healthy controls group. A significant difference was found in R, Form, Colour and Movement responses. These differences confirm high psychic cohartation, low emotional expression and control in reaction to external stimuli. Anorexic males personality profiles, anyway, seem to be less specific in comparison to healthy controls than female personality profiles.
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