Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 21, Number 1, Jan 2014 Editorial
|1. Editorial: A Spiritual “Afterlife” Death Dream, Wilfred A. Cassell, pages 1-2.
In the July of 2013 issue of the journal my editorial reviewed SIS technology techniques whose validity has been established primarily through phenomenological case history studies. Not only do these have several applications in clinical settings, they also provide illumination for peering deeper into the depths of human consciousness. They can facilitate the inner world exploration of less tangible esoteric philosophical/religious dimensions of a human’s soul. As examples these can enable a trained SIS therapist to reduce Dysphoric Death affects and therapeutically process otherwise unreported suicidal/homicidal ideation. SIS clinical investigators are now challenged to replicate these with more rigorous, “Placebo” controlled, follow-up statistical studies.
My original interest in these seemingly boundary less body-mind spiritual fields having Cosmic time, energy and space dimensions has a very long history. Historically, it is traceable to my deceased anthropological professor Ernest Becker's theoretical views published in his 1973 Pulitzer Prize winning book “Denial of Death.” He brilliantly described how humans utilize the psychological defense mechanism of denial to avoid such futuristic focused morbid somatic introspection.
However, he was not open to the notion that projective techniques, such as original SIS “inkblot “somatic suggestive designs were worthy of scientific investigation. In an angry outburst, he once told me that his own personal undergraduate Rorschach responses had almost excluded him from graduate school. Consistent with his aversion to analyzing symbolic somatic imagery projected onto inkblots, or surfacing in REM sleep, his brilliant book failed to mention Death Dreams.
Prior to his premature death from lung cancer related to nicotine addiction based smoking, he remained a dogmatic atheist. After my graduation I taught the medical school staff with him. At that time in the twentieth century history of medical knowledge, when it was beginning to be clinically documented that spiritually based therapy programs for addiction were effective. Now years later, clinical investigators have provided statistical data supporting the efficacy of various treatment programs having a spiritual/religious foundation. As outlined in the last issue of this journal the evolving SIS technology enables envisioning spiritual life moving beyond the physical boundaries of the dying human body.
As a follow-up introspective illustration, in the editorial I will now share a vivid “Death Dream” that strongly suggested to me viewing an “Afterlife” mystical continent. (Before relating it, I must confess that now with my elderly age “Death” has become a fascinating subject, if not a preoccupation). Moreover as illustrated in the subsequent SIS studies published in the journal on “BEREAVEMENT” clinical work frequently exposes me to its dark shadow. Lastly, to facilitate the reader’s independent symbolic interpretation anxiety charged “day residual” affect charged memories, also likely affected the dream. Thus, the visual imagery emerged in nocturnal consciousness just a few days after a personal psychologically stressful and potentially lethal event. This involved my being unrepentantly being caught in some dangerous ALASKA sea conditions, when paddling a kayak on the open ocean.
The dream emerged in nocturnal consciousness beginning with the following visual imagery and feelings: My body seemed to be moving magically through the air at a high elevation over an ocean like body of water. I was amazed to observe young people floating in the spiritual space above it …then in an emerging island-like configuration below, I witnessed the figures of two adults, as though their bodies were defining a gate-like entrance to the space below… they were observing my floatation through psychic dream space…then a manuscript appeared documenting my many published insights into the clear relationship between nighttime dream imagery and inkblot projective responses… next my theoretical writings in a magical like fashion floated up in psychic space…these appeared to be permanently documented on what resembled an ancient stone tablet form…I held this in my hand to for viewing by onlookers whom I did not see, but somehow sensed to be watching …the words were clearly written…they documented certain specific projected symbols, that I had previously in the reality of the planet earth had written for SIS scientists to understand my previously published work documenting SIS body-mind-spirit theory.
Next my mood changed from positive feelings to one of mild frustration/irritability and sadness… I became saddened by observing that most viewers floating by in the dream’s spiritual dimensions seemed somewhat detached and unappreciative of the diagnostic/ healing power of SIS symbolism.
After a while of drifting despondently in an aimless psychic dream dimension… I then felt fearful as my aging body was being involuntarily drawn shown towards a dark outline of a continent in an ocean below…however when gradually from a powerful mystical source beyond myself, the spiritual notion entered my mind that this mysterious shape below represented the “Afterlife”, I then felt relief and hope… I realized after my body’s death that SIS Society members and open minded explorers of the spiritual dimensions would carry on refining projective explorations of the inner world of all our planet’s cognitively/emotionally based life.
Of course my scientific knowledge and reality testing ability enable me to retain an intellectual position of objectivity. The rigorous anthropological arguments of an atheist such as Ernest Becker in context of his cognitive based contributions to Death psychology are invaluable. Moreover, I also understand that dropping the “spiritual” dimension from SIS theory does not eliminate all positive clinical applications. Regardless of philosophical/religious considerations, clinical case reviews strongly suggest that the projective technology can enable a so disturbed person “to more calmly look death in the face and not blink!”
2. Dream and SIS Symbolism in Bereavement, Wilfred A. Cassell and Bankey L. Dubey, pages 3-10.
Sometimes the body can die before its human resident can cognitively recognize the inevitable, pervasive "shadow of Death”. Such was the accidental death of a healthy elderly married American woman. When a large truck crashed from out of her visual field into her car, her brain was instantaneously crushed. This case history study examines the concomitant protracted Bereavement associated with loss triggered Mental Disorders of her daughter and husband. It reviews both the symbolic imagery in their dreams as well as that reflected in their projective responses to SIS-II Video.
3. Empirically-Supported Case Studies of Creativity in Writers in Psychoanalysis, Nadine J. Kaslow, Peggy D. Flanagan, Erica R. Carlin, Rachel Harris, Enith E. Hickman and Susan L. Reviere, pages 11-24.
This case study provides a structured and qualitative look at changes in Rorschach Inkblot Test responses for two creative writers over the courses of their psychoanalysis. Attention was paid to capacity to preserve transitional space between reality and fantasy using the Reality-Fantasy Scale, which was applied to responses, coded using Exner’s Comprehensive System. Based upon empirically coded responses using the Reality-Fantasy Scale, over the course of their psychoanalysis, they demonstrated greater reliance on fantasy and more extreme reality-fantasy alterations. Psychodynamically-informed clinical interpretations of the Rorschach responses that showed shifts in creativity are offered. Results reveal that the Rorschach is a valuable projective tool for examining creativity in individuals undergoing psychoanalysis, engagement in a psychoanalytic process enables analysands to more readily share their fantasy-based perception, and it is optimal to use both the formal Reality-Fantasy scale and clinical interpretations for garnering a comprehensive understanding of shifts in creative processes secondary to psychoanalysis.
4. Psychologists’ Ambivalence toward Ambiguity: Relocating the Projective Test Debate for Multiple Interpretative Hypotheses, Jayanti Basu, pages 25-36.
This article critically relocates the debate concerning the validity and utility of projective tests within multiple interpretative and process oriented approaches. Some scholars opine that there could be alternate ways of looking at projective tests, for example using it as a technique to elicit cognitive and emotional states or as behaviour samples. Supporting, modifying or denigrating the use of projective tests may reflect different underlying attitudes toward ambiguity and multiple interpretations of a situation. Thus it represents either of two different traditions of psychology: one, aspiring to attain a structured and organized view of human behavior facilitating prediction, and the other, an acceptance and appreciation of idiographic and divergent responses that may not necessarily be predictive, but informative about the multiple possibilities of human thought process. This latter approach would be more concerned with the process of experiencing rather than with obtaining a relatively final and fixed answer to the dilemmas of existential conditions. The possibility of such an approach was always present in the history of projective tests, but has been subdued under the hegemonic pressure of diagnostic utility. The present author argues that a process oriented view of responses to ambiguous situations, along with a sensitivity to human diversity and multiple interpretations rather than emphasizing commonality, may open up a fresh relocation of projective technique within psychology. Training of projective techniques may incorporate this consideration for future researchers.
5. Marital Conflict: An Exploration of Relationship issues in Couples through SIS-II, L.S.S. Manickam and B.T. Suhani, pages 37-41.
Persons with marital conflict contact professionals when it goes beyond their control and the problems they present with are usually verbal or physical abuse. Consecutive six couples who were referred for psychological evaluation for marital problems and who had sexual dissatisfaction as reported by the spouses, were taken up for this study. Though the female partners were referred for evaluation, they did not have major psychiatric disorders. However, the female spouses reported that their partners have either low sexual desire or sexual dysfunction. The SIS-II was administered to understand their personality and therapeutic management. The findings showed that there was significant agreement in the scores of the couples except on Sex scores. Analysis of the types of the pattern of responses and its implications are discussed.
6. Rorschach Response in Somatization Problem among College Students, Roshan L. Dewangan, Saugata Basu, Prasanta Kumar Roy, pages 42-48.
Low prevalence has been reported for somatization in psychiatric set up; however, the high rate of this psychiatric disease in the general health set up is creating a high disease burden. It is also reported that somatization is hardly diagnosed due to its high emphasis on the physical domain both by patient and physician and its comorbidity with other conditions. The present investigation aimed at identifying the use of the Rorschach test as early detection of somatization problems in the general population. In a two phase cross-sectional study, 400 college students of Kolkata, India were given Symptom Assessment-45 questionnaire to screen psychiatric morbidity. 15 students were selected as high risk for somatization and 15 as low-risk for somatization based on the screening. The Rorschach test following the Klopfer system (1956) was individually administered to them. Findings could identify only a few Rorschach variables like Animal Detail and Nature content in association with somatization.
7. SIS-II Correlates of Suicide Ideation among Adolescents, Umed Singh and Kamlesh Rani, pages 49-57.
The present study was conducted to examine the SIS-II correlates of suicide ideation. To realize the main objective, 480 Secondary School students (186 females and 294 males) drawn from 11th & 12th grade students of various Senior Secondary Schools of Gurgaon and Delhi, were administered SIS-II (Booklet Form) and Beck's Scale for Suicide Ideation. The obtained data were analyzed by applying Descriptive Statistics, t-ratios, Pearson's Correlations and Principal Component Factor Analysis. The t-ratios revealed that the female students scored high on Suicide Ideation, Human, Animal, Movement and Most Typical Reponses; and low on Anatomy than male students. Both inter-correlations and factor analyses have depicted structured overlap between some SIS-II scales and suicide ideation. Movement, Depression, and Hostility and Aggression Scales of SIS-II have emerged significant correlates of suicide ideation depicting SIS-II Suicide Ideation Constellation Index (M+, D+, HAS+). The present study suggests the need of large scale investigation of SIS-II correlates of suicide on both suicide ideations and suicide attempts.
8. SIS-II Profile of patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder: A Case report, Bhoomika Sachacher and Masroor Jahan, pages 59-61.
Somatic Inkblot series-II (SIS-II) was administered to a 30 years male, educated up to 9th class, preoccupied with thoughts of being ugly for the last 15 years, with decreased social interaction and low mood from last 2 years. According to DSM-IV, he was diagnosed with “Body Dysmorphic Disorder”. The SIS helped in expressing his preoccupied thoughts of being ugly and anxiety about body image.
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