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Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 19, Number 2, July 2012 Editorial

1. Editorial: Memory Interaction with SIS “Perception” Versus “Projection” Wilfred A. Cassell, pages 77-79.

Fundamental memory retrieval processes influence what is seen or written, as a response sequence on the SIS Answer Booklet. For illustration purposes, consider a most simple conceptual model involving a medical specialist (e.g. a hypothetical pathologist). Such a professional who had been previously trained in anatomy would likely identify the cardiac embedded somatic content more readily than an astronomer friend. This reflects “Familiarity” - a natural tendency to focus on, and then consciously recognize from memory storage, familiar objects.

Conceivably the ability of these men to recognize somatic structure would be accentuated under different conditions of sensory feedback. For example, if the two friends were out jogging, the interoceptive sensations from their exercise activated cardiovascular and respiratory systems would likely increase their perceptual sensitivity to embedded somatic SIS structure. A similar type increase might be expected if either experienced a flood of interoceptive sensations from psychological stress autonomic nervous system arousal. However, under such conditions the conceptual model is more complex since anxiety affects linkage to an organ such as the heart, and can trigger alternating processes of perceptual sensitization versus inhibition.

Similarly, what anatomical structure is perceived can be greatly influenced by physical illness. A patient hospitalized experiencing angina pain or suffering from Congestive Heart Failure more readily detects SIS heart content. Moreover, the projected size of the heart may be larger. Psychoactive drugs, as well as basic drives such as hunger and sex can shape perception. When hungry, a responder focuses on organ imagery depicting the gastrointestinal tract. Hormonal influenced reproductive impulses and fantasy can increase recognition of SIS embedded sexual structure.

The ill understood interplay between activation of “Memory” mechanisms, “Perception” and “Projection” body-mind- spirit processes are illustrated in a case history published in this issue of the Journal (Assessing Sexuality “Homosexuality”). In interpreting their clinical significance, it is suggested that present conceptual models only partially explain the complexities of the underlying phenomenology. For example, since the erotic content on image A1 of SIS Booklet falls well beyond normative data; such imagery reflects the mental mechanism referred to as “Projection”. In addition, what she imagined the blot to resemble may have been partially influenced by one or more forms of memory. For example, questions may be raised, was her response sequence related to “short term” recollection of pornographic lesbian art or erotic photographs? Perhaps alternatively, did it reflect “long term” memories of past fantasies and/or homosexual activity with her lost lesbian friend spiritually visualized in some of the SIS symbolism?

All such historical references need close examination by the test administrator when assessing the clinical significance of aggressive content. Often this becomes of paramount importance in interpreting responses with either suicidal or homicidal significance - especially in those with psychotic mental disorders. An example from our SIS case history files involves an adolescent girl who was planning to murder her sleeping mother. Fortunately her mother awoke to discover her daughter standing over the bed with a knife in hand threatening to stab her.

After being admitted to the hospital and administered antipsychotic medication, she visualized a SIS blot with embedded cardiac structure as “A heart with a knife in it”. To an inexperienced interpreter, this might have been simply dismissed as reflecting past murderous impulses. A SIS clinician trained in exploring the time referents of the response deemed that it was prudent to continue in the hospital homicidal “Precautions”. Thus even though she denied still wanting to stab her mother, for safety reasons, she continued on close observation. Her more experienced clinician soon realized that her denial may have been motivated to obtain early release to the community while still homicidal.

Look forward to expanding your knowledge in the field of introspective projective technology. If you eventually become an administrator of projective procedure, you should gain understanding not only in to the inner world of a patient/client more intimately than but as well as to introspection. In this interactive subjective world, kindly feel empathetic humility to your inner self, as well as that of others. In this psychic journey into inner spiritual space, look forward to leaving behind the mundane modern world with all its “craziness”, in humanity and unnecessary suffering. Fantasize for a few moments about entering into a wonderful “heavenly” mysterious uncharted world, not guided by the laws of present day science.

During such meditation, actively identify with the original consciousness of the blessed pioneers of Yoga. Subjectively sense the beauty and healing power of this ancient bridge to healing body-mind-spiritual streams. Realize that no human mind can ever ultimately understand itself, let alone, totally comprehend, scientifically, that of another. Consider, as well, reviewing, if you have not already, some basic information on the nature of primitive human spiritual symbols throughout various cultures, as reflected in 3200 year old cave drawings. Look forward to acquiring skills that should enable you to be more able to empathetically feel reverence for your own, as well as another person’s suffering soul. Perhaps, additional explanation is due any reader who might question the need to include religious training in this “soft” scientific field that extends into the spiritual realm.

A related resistance to projective testing concerns the facts that in the mental health field, a significant percentage of practitioners have their own unresolved psychological issues. These originally motivated them to enter the field. Such professionals hide their “inner cry” behind their professional persona. Many in their social life numb their own inner world suffering by self-medicating with alcohol, prescription drugs, street drugs, etc. Neither of the above SIS critics had availed themselves of personal therapy. The first was severely obese and suffered from a stress triggered medical condition called “Irritable Bowel Syndrome”. The second was episodically struggling with addiction to cocaine.

No doubt it would have been threatening for either of them to have acknowledged that inkblot techniques can serve as a mirror of inner world imagery, including their own. Not being in introspective therapy, they were not prepared for the projective recall of their own early life, stressful memories and childhood “nightmares.” Nor were they ready to introspectively face the additional burden of occupational secondary empathetic discomforting imagery superimposing itself on their early life memories.

“Hopefully SIS clinicians will continue to expand their diagnostic/therapeutic and spiritual healing applications through 21st century communication technologies. Apart from their clinical value, many other promising fields may be envisioned for futuristic minded SIS scientists. An example follows. Since evoked SIS imagery releases a suffering person’s unexpressed “Inner cry”, the projective technology may be an educational aide for training “EMPATHY”.

If an individual has not experienced some degree of suffering, how can he or she, identify with and empathize with others who suffer in silence? Members of the SIS society who have empathized with the painful affect released by otherwise inhibited patients/clients need no further explanation on the releasing power of SIS technology. Readers lacking such secondary empathetic exposure to PTSD are encouraged to review the various case history presentations in SIS journals. A more illustrative approach would be to view some televised teaching clinical interviews.

On our war torn, economically unstable, fragile planet, too often international leaders seem to lack empathy. Many act in “sociopathic” ways, blind to both their own “Inner cry” as well as that of suffering souls. For example, in America, an immensely wealthy minority, through modern media ``Persona” image manipulation have acquired undue government power. With the aid of money motivated unscrupulous attorneys, basic humane guidelines, such as those established by the American Constitution as well as humane international law are bypassed. Witness the unethical sadistic torture methods employed at Guantanamo Bay by “White House” directed American interrogators.

Hope the SIS imagery combined with meditation and spiritual healing will work as a therapeutic aide to suffering individuals. The SIS Center conducts several training workshops for therapists in learning spiritual healing.

Wilfred A Cassell, M.D., FAPA, APC. Editor Emeritus, SIS Journal, Anchorage, Alaska.

2. Spiritual Warfare and SIS Spiritual Symbols, Wilfred A. Cassell and Bankey L. Dubey, pages 80-90.

“SPIRITUAL WARFARE” is a symbolically deceptive religious practice that can rob primitive people of their historical culture/dream based positive spiritual symbols. Throughout recorded history, powerful authoritarian leaders have either openly, or deceptively, inflicted their religious/political views on the minds of weaker subjects – especially those of vulnerable children, Sometime such perpetrators MAY RATIONALIZE that they have the SPIRITUAL interest of those robbed of their culture’s historical symbols. Yet, a religious sanctioned undermining of a person’s HISTORICAL sense of personal identity can produce “irreparable damage” TO MENTAL HEALTH. This Hypothesis needs to be scientifically investigated by assessing the MIND ALTERING POWER OF SYMBOLS.

3. How common is Alcohol induced psychosis in a suburban Part of India? D. Saldanha, K. Anuja, P. Vishal, B. Sumit, K. Arpita, G. Ambarish and V. Patel, pages 91-96.

The effects of alcohol on human mind and body are a fascinating subject since times immemorial. 200 cases (Non Alcoholic, Mean Age 41.32 years) and 50 patients (Alcoholic, Mean Age 42.96 Years) admitted in a Medical College Hospital, Pune (situated in a semi urban area) were taken for the study. The incidence of alcohol abuse in the study sample was 20 percent and Alcohol induced psychosis was 3.2 percent .The importance of group psychotherapy towards prevention of alcohol abuse in the young adults is highlighted in the paper.

4. Aggression and Related Psychosocial Correlates among Offending and Non-offending Drivers: A Therapeutic Intervention, Nilanjana Sanyal, Sayantani Chatterjee, Manisha Dasgupta and Sraboni Chatterjee, pages 97-106.

Driver-violence has been essentially on the rise, taking the toll of many innocent lives. The present study probes into the personality profiles of rash driving drivers, from the perspectives of mental health, in a comparative parlance with non-offending counterparts. The sample consisted of 168 drivers (99 offending and 69 non-offending drivers) who were matched with respect to age, sex, education and socio-economic status. Standardized questionnaires were administered to assess selected personality variables. Offending drivers were found to have significantly impaired controllability awareness in all dimensions, mood states in addition to higher indirect forms of expressed aggression than normal counterparts. Besides, significant profile differences were also observed with regard to morbid and morbidity-free drivers along with intra-group findings. Specific strategies for therapeutic interventions for promoting road safety have also been implicated.

5. Human Figure Drawing Test in Forensic Investigation: A Case Study, Nilesh B. Wagh, Jay Kumar Ranjan and Shivarathna L.Vaya, pages 107-109.

The Human Figure Drawing Test (HFDT) is a reliable and valid projective assessment tool; it has the potential to elicit information regarding cognition, feelings and overall personality of an individual. There is considerable diversity in the standardization of HFDT in forensic settings, and also the absence of Indian study in this context. This paper intends to highlight the applicability of the test in a forensic setting. Mr. A, 25 yrs old male, working as domestic help, was arrested for murder of his landlady and five children. He was referred for forensic psychological evaluation as he confessed to the crime. The projective profile of HFDT on cognition, feeling and personality are discussed in the context of forensic investigation.

6. Alcohol Dependence: Personality and Interpersonal Perspectives, Arundhati Biswas, Tilottama Mukherjee and Saugata Basu, pages 110-120.

The present study aims to explore how the three groups of subjects, alcohol dependents not attending any self-help group (NON-AA), Alcohol dependents attending self-help groups (Alcoholic Anonymous) and normal control differ with respect to the personality variables namely, “Assured – Dominant”, “Arrogant-Calculating”, “Cold hearted”, “Aloof-Introverted”, “Unassured-Submissive”, “Unassuming-Ingenious”, “Warm-Agreeable” and “Gregarious-Extraverted”, measured in terms of interpersonal relationship, by Interpersonal Adjective Scale (Wiggins, 1995).Marital Quality of the subjects under study was assessed by MQ Scale (Shah, 1995). The sample consisted of 90 male subjects divided equally into three groups, ages ranging from 30-50 years. The obtained results were analyzed by using ANOVA followed by Duncan's Multiple Range Test’. Results revealed significant differences amongst three groups with respect to personality characteristics and marital quality. The study indicates that attending a self-help support group (Alcoholic Anonymous) brings about changes both in personality characteristics and marital quality of life.

7. Assessing Sexuality “Homosexuality”, Bankey L. Dubey, Preeti Pandey, Ajay Tiwari and Nalini Mishra, pages 121-125.

The Somatic Inkblot Series Booklet version was administered to a 19 years old girl, a student of 12th grade with a decent family background. She always liked and adopted the lifestyle of a boy who used to dress up like boys and drive motorbikes. She had an emotional attachment and physical relationship with her classmate like lesbians. She had a history of sexual abuse by her cousin at age 13 which she did not inform to anyone in the family. She became aggressive towards boys and wanted to punish her cousin. Her responses on the SIS images revealed her aggressive attitude towards males and sexual inclination as revenge against the perpetrator. The responses on SIS are discussed in the paper.

8. SIS in a Case of Somatized Pain, Atri Sengupta, Nalini Mishra and Padma Dwivedi, pages 126-130.

The Somatic Inkblot Series-II Video version was administered to a 35 years old female executive. She got married 6 years ago with her childhood friend with whom she had love relations for almost 15 years. She feels neglected by her husband who is short tempered, demanding and hostile. Even the personal relation has deteriorated with a depressed mood and insecurity towards the future. The SIS images brought her unprocessed unconscious material to the surface and helped her in processing. She started feeling better after therapeutic intervention. The case study is discussed in the paper.

9. Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Relaxation in Chronic Migraine Patients, M. G. Sharma and Vandana Sharma, pages 131-136.

The present study attempts to examine the effect of cognitive behavior therapy and relaxation practices on chronic migraine patients. 50 treated and 50 non-treated patients were evaluated at SIMPHS Varanasi (India). The two groups were matched on an age range from 20 to 55 years with a mean age of 38.4 years and mean length of intolerable pain of 6.8 years. Indian adaptation of T.A.T. (Seven cards: 1, 3B, 4, 6BM, 7BM, 13MF, and 16), Defense Mechanism Inventory and Questionnaire for Dependency were administered to ascertain personality, defense mechanism and dependency characteristics on eleven selected dimensions viz: need, press, interpersonal relations, outcome, reversal, principalization, turning against self, projection, turning against object, internal dependency and external dependency. Mean scores obtained on different variables were analyzed using a t-test of significance. Results indicated that the characteristics associated with treated chronic migraine patients were cognizance, dominance, autonomy, achievement, counteraction, affiliation, sex capacity, interpersonal relations, outcome, projection turning against object and internal dependency whereas the characteristics associated with non-treated chronic migraine patients were aggression, rejection, passivity, acquisition, anxiety, , reversal, principalization, turning against self, internal dependency, external dependency and press.

10. Differential Affective Profile of Patients with Diabetes and Coronary Artery Disease, Prachi Saxena, Tulika Pandey, Akanksha Dubey, Sujeet Pratap, and Rakesh Pandey, pages 137-149.

The present paper attempts to explore the profile of affect related traits and abilities that may potentially discriminate the patient suffering from diabetes from those having Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) apart from discovering the specific set of affect related traits/abilities that differentiate the said patients groups from healthy controls. Patients with diabetes, CAD and a group of matched control participants (N = 15 in each) were assessed on the measures of alexithymia, emotional intelligence, style of emotional expressions and perceived autonomic arousal associated with emotions. A multiple discriminant function analysis was conducted to uncover the affective profile that maximally discriminated the two patient groups from the matched controls as well as the two patient groups themselves. The findings yielded two discriminant functions – ‘emotional inability’ and ‘emotional expression’. The plot of the centroids of the three groups on both the functions revealed the ‘emotional expression’ function that differentiated the two patient groups. (Diabetes and CAD) from each other while the ‘emotional inability’ differentiated the patient groups from the matched controls. The classification matrix revealed that the discriminant functions classified the diabetics with 73.3% accuracy, CAD patients with 66.7% accuracy, and the matched controls with 80% accuracy. The findings of analysis of variance revealed that the patient groups were significantly more alexithymic, less emotional intelligent and less emotionally expressive than the matched control group. However, the post-hoc comparison revealed that higher level of alexithymia and poor emotional intelligence differentiate the two patient groups from health controls. Further, the patients with diabetes and CAD were found to have a specific affective profile that differentiated them from each other. The patients with diabetes were characterized by an affective profile defined by a relatively higher level of emotional intelligence (as compared to CAD) associated with difficulty in expressing positive emotions and a strong belief for non-expression of emotions. On the other hand, the patients with CAD were characterized by a relatively poor emotional intelligence but better expression of positive emotions and lower score on belief for non-expression of emotions. The findings imply that a difficulty in identifying verbalizing emotions (i.e., alexithymia) and poor emotional intelligence differentiate the two patient groups from healthy controls while higher emotional intelligence associated with poor emotional expression (or vice-versa) differentiate the patients with diabetes from the CAD. The results have been discussed in the light of available empirical findings.

11. Mental Health and Mindfulness: Mediational Role of Positive and Negative Affect, Sachit P. Mandal, Yogesh K. Arya and Rakesh Pandey, pages 150-159.

A consensus is emerging among the researchers that mindfulness is associated with better physical health and psychological well-being. The present study attempts to explore the possible role of positive and negative affectivity in explaining the relationship between mindfulness and health. One hundred undergraduate and post-graduate students (52 male and 48 female) were assessed on self-report measures of mindfulness, positive/negative affectivity and mental illness/distress. Analysis revealed that most of the dimensions of mindfulness as well as the total score of mindfulness were correlated positively with positive affect and negatively with different dimensions of mental illness/distress and negative affect. Further, positive affect correlated significantly and negatively with the dimensions mental illness/distress whereas negative affect correlated positively with the same. Though, most of the dimensions of mindfulness correlated significantly with mental illness/distress as well as positive/negative affect, the findings of stepwise multiple regression analysis revealed that ‘acting with awareness’ dimension of mindfulness emerged as the best predictor of mental illness/distress. Further, in predicting the negative affect, the ‘describe’ dimension of mindfulness emerged as the best predictor followed by non-judgment of inner experiences. Positive affect was best predicted by the ‘describe’ dimension of mindfulness followed by reactivity to inner experiences. To examine the mediational role of positive/negative affect in mindfulness-mental illness relationship a mediation analysis was carried out. Findings revealed that the negative affect and not the positive affect significantly mediated the relationship between mindfulness and mental illness/distress. The results have been discussed in the light of available empirical research.

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