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Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 2, Number 2, July 1995 Editorial

1.Editorial: Wilfred A.Cassell, pages 93-95.

There are a few special individual who challenge us to risk above the mediocrity of our lives. There ideal and accomplishment can serve to inspire us even long after their physical bodies have disintegrated. Hermann Rorschach has long been on inspirational figure for me. Body symbolism (1980) was “dedicated to the spirit of Klex’ (1984-1992) and those who labor after him”.

Roughly translated, “Klex” was a nickname assigned to him by his peers in school for his ability to produce artistic inkblot configurations. In later life, as an inquiring psychiatrist, he pursued the intellectual pathways created by artist of the 19th Century who paid ‘in determinant forms to stimulate creative imagination”.

He described the rational for his approach to ink blot development as follows. “The projection of such accidental forms is very simple: a few large inkblots are thrown on a piece of paper, the paper is folded and the inkblot spread between the two halves of the sheet. Not all of the figures so objected can be used, for those use must fulfill certain conditions. First, the forms must be relatively simple; complicated pictures make the computations of the factors of the experiment too difficult. Second, the distribution of the blots on the plate must fulfil certain requirements of composition or they will not be “suggestive’ with the result that many subjects will rejects will reject them as simple inkblot without consideration of other possible interpretations’.

In Switzerland, just after World War I, he conducted clinical trials with hospitalized psychiatric patients and eventually selected fifteen blots which met his criteria. Unfortunately, for economic reasons, the Swiss publisher refused to print all these cards and five blots were eliminated. Imagine how frustrating this must have been to him at the time. Perhaps this played a role in his untimely death at age 37. He died from what many modern physicians consider to be a stress-induced gastrointestinal illness. In spite of his medical training, he neglected his own life-threatening abdominal symptoms. He failed to seek appropriate treatment for several days after his appendix actually ruptured, even when he was in great pain. Surely he must have felt quite defeated at the time and perhaps even depressed.In any case, all subsequent work the remaining then blots must be considered to represent an incomplete series. If he had achieved some measure of professional published the complete series. Moreover, if he had lived a full life, no doubt he world have actively pursued their presentation on video and computer screen and Telemedicine transmission.

In an attempt to follow in his intellectual leadership, in 1988, I developed a video version of the ten plates employing the same audio-visual technique as the SIS. Upon completion, I met with the representative of the Rorschach publisher who was shown the video and expressed considerable interest in this new technology. He graciously gave me permission for its research application provided it was not sold commercially. However, he wanted to check with certain Psychologists in the field before proceeding. Unfortunately it was turned down probably because of the author’s emphasis on content analysis.

For many clinicians, content analysis approach of interpretation is helpful. An video presentation of a Rorschach card or SIS image enables the therapist to elicit imagery which helps in the understanding of dreams, visual hallucinations, recall of repressed post-traumatic stress, real-life events, and abnormal perceptions projected onto the body, etc. Moreover, it facilitated the therapeutic processing of emotionally painful material in a way not possible in traditional therapy sessions. Additionally, it provides a learning experience of the viewer to understand how symbols may be employed to defend against threatening material coming into consciousness.

At this time, I am pleased that the copyright on the incomplete Rorschach test is soon to expire. Consistent with what I’ve imagined to be Rorschach’s professional philosophy of methodological development and with the able leadership of authorities such as Dr. B. Lal Dubey in India, we are now actively working on video and computer presentation. Please join us in this endeavor. Hopefully, this journal will facilitate communication for investigators who employ the Somatic Inkblot Series, the Rorschach, and Holtzman tests, all other related procedures, which can enhance the exploration of consciousness.

There is a type of mystique about certain existing tests with their standardized norms and methods, administration, and so on. For example, in regard to both the Rorschach and Holtzman tests in many instances when I use these procedures, I do not use the standard administration. In a clinical setting, when I want to learn as much as possible about a particular individual who is suffering and facilitate the relapse of his pain, I ask the individual to indicate which three blots are “most liked”. The detailed inquiry will then begin by requesting the subject to give associations to these cards. This serves to minimize test’s anxiety and reduce psychological defenses for the examination of more clinically relevant material which follows when responses to the three “least liked” are explored. In any case, the therapist needs to be flexible and not constrictive in the methodology when using a projective technique.

Lastly, we plan to avoid the pitfalls experienced by both Hermann Rorschach and Wayne Holtzman in having to deal with cost-oriented publishers. Full copyrights for the SIS, in its various forms, are retained by SIS Corporation (W.A. Cassell). Eventually these will ‘be transferred to the Somatic Inkblot Society in each country where the work is being done. As a result, it will be researchers and clinicians in the behavioral sciences who will determine the direction of the future work. Please join us in this fascinating adventure.

2. Corporal Perception in HIV Positive and Negative Heroin-Addicts Assessed WithSomatic Inkblot Series-I, Giovanna Gaetani; Leder Fiorenzo, Lucchini, A; Giovanni, S. Vitali R. and Ferro Roberto, pages 97-118.

Forty-five drug addicts were studied; of these 15 were HIV negative, 15 HIV positive and 15 HIV positive and undergoing AZT therapies. We used the SIS-I projective psychological test to assess emotional perception of the body. We observed emotional elements revealing unconscious underlying conflicts manifested clinically in the form of anxiety and distress. Evident anxiety appeared in the presence of the cards regarding the head, sexuality and the Gestalt. Anxiety regarding the organic illnesses the subjects was suffering of defense mechanisms of repression and denial in the presence of the cards stimulating the subject of death. There were significant differences in preoccupation and aggressiveness between HIV positive and negative subjects. In particular, in subjects on AZT therapy the fear of death was expressed as a distressing sense of expectation before a terrifying event seen as inevitable and accepted-sometimes with resignation, sometimes with resistance and sometimes as a liberation from suffering or as atonement for one’s misdeeds.

3. Inner Cry Through Somatic Inkblot Series, B.L. Dubey, W.A. Cassell, Padma Dwivedi and Mridula Mishra, pages 119-128.

Somatic Inkblot Series-video (SIS) was administered to two female patients belonging to high strata of the society. They were feeling uneasy at home with severe conflict with their family. SIS was able to bring out inner cry of the individuals and after therapeutic intervention their condition improved. Content analysis of responses in SIS video is discussed in the paper.

4. A Study of Somatic Inkblot Series: Application In Medical Setting,Deborah Brady, pages 129—134.

Somatic Inkblot Series –Video test was administered to 15 patients displaying somatic and 15 normal subjects. To demonstrate the clinical utility of the SIS Video a case along with responses of the patients on SIS Video is presented in the paper.

5. A New Combination of Therapies for Treatment of Schizophrenia of Less than 5 Years Duration, N.L. Dosajh, pages 135-138.

A new Combination of Therapies, based on Western and Eastern Psychotherapies had been tries on 10 Schizophrenics of less than 5-year duration leading to satisfactory results. The various steps of the technique (e.g. Drug therapy, Psychotherapy, Yoga therapy) and evaluation of improvement through the Rorschach test are discussed in the paper.

6. Diagnostic Significance of Content Analysis of SIS-II. D. Pershad & S.K. Verma, pages 139-144.

Twenty four case of Schizophrenia and depression were administered SIS-II to find out differences in their perception (a) of the images specific to elicit vita inner organs (b) in the anatomical content categories and (c) in the form level of responses. It was observed that the perceptual concordance for vital organs was 28.8 and 48.7 percent in schizophrenia and depression. Schizophrenic perceived more animal and less anatomical content of SIS image. Depressive group had relatively better form level as judged by the frequency of ‘most typical’ responses. Findings indicated that even the simplest content analysis of SIS had diagnostic significance.

7. Projective Measures of Alexithymia and the SIS, Rakesh Pandey, pages 145-152.

Alexithymia is a multidimensional construct, which refers to the deficits in the experience and expression of emotion. The present paper reviews the earlier attempts to measure the alexithymia construct with special reference to the projective techniques, and presents the potentiality of the Somatic Inkblot Series (SIS) for becoming a valid projective measure of alexithymia. The quantitatively scored SIS Alexithymia Indices such as decreased R, low R on chromatic images, increased Animal, Anatomical, Pathological Anatomy Scores, Sexual responses, and low Human and affect in Human responses are proposed in the paper. Since TAS-20 is the only scale, which has been adopted in Indian conditions, the proposed indices on SIS will be compared with TAS-20 scale and the outcome will be reported in future.

8. Human Figure Drawings of Prisoners and Vipassana, K. Chandiramani, R. Jena & S.K. Verma, pages153-158.

Forty Tihar Jail Mail inmates were divided in two groups. One group received Vipassana training and the other did not. Twenty subjects were taken from each group. The study group as well as the control group with the same time interval made before and after Vipassana human figure drawing respectively. More positive changes e.g. more holistic, balanced picture of self (more complete and proportionate) with reduced dependence (buttons, pokers, mind-line emphasis) and aggression (eyes, teeth, gun) were observed in the study group as compared to the control group. The overall gains of Vipassana are discussed in the paper.

9. Basic Personality Structure of the Deprived Adolescents, Mahesh Bhargava and Anju Sexena, pages 159-164.

The present study aims at identifying the basic personality structure and evaluating 15 primary traits of personality on Rorschach Inkblot Test of the High and Low Deprived adolescents. Prolonged Deprivation scale was employed as the screening instrument for identifying the two extreme groups of deprived adolescents whereas Roschach Inkblot Tests was under as evaluating instrument. Data was collected on 80 HAD and 80 LDA studying at Xith Class and in comparison in the age group of 16+. The results indicated that in comparison to HAD, the LDA have developed better cover and overt control over their behavior as indicators of their better covert experiential balance in their personality. Consequently, there existed significant differences in their personality structures, particularly in F,M, Fc, FK, FC and Hd criteria of Rorschach Inkblot Test thereby accounting for the difference in their personality structure.

10. Diagnostic Significance of the Indices of SIS-II and Rorschach Inkblot Tests, C.B. Dwivedi, M. Mishra and B.L. Dubey, pages 165-170.

The SIS-II and the Rorschach Inkblot Tests were administered to 50 normal 50 neuter and 50 schizophrenic subjects using the standard procedure to prepare profiles of the three groups of subjects and to find out the relationship between the common indices of the two tests. Out of 8 indices five indices could discriminate schizophrenics and 3 could discriminate neutrals from normal. Indices however, differed on the SIS and the Rorschach. The correlations of common indices on two tests were significant on one third of the indices. Only two correlations were found to be above 60 thus, it was concluded that the SIS is more suitable for understanding the psychopathology of the patients.

11. Personality Profile of the Hemophiliacs in Comparison to Normal: A Study Using Self-Report and Projective Measures, S. Bhattacharyya, D. Biswas and Jayanti Basu, pages 171-179.

The present study examines the personality profile of adult Hemophiliacs of Calcutta in comparison to normal. The patients were in the age range of 20-38 yrs. And suffered form Factor VIII deficiency. The normal group was selected on the basis of a one to one matching (n=36). As India adaptation of the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (PQ) was administered along with the Rorschach Inkblot Test. The two groups did not differ in any variable on the self-report inventory. But the Rorschach profile indicated neurotic constriction and difficulty.
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