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Journal of Projective Psychology and Mental Health: Volume 4, Number 1, Jan 1997 Editorial

Editorial: A Secret Message and a Challenge, S.K.Verma, PGI Chandigarh, pages 1-2.

In the epic “Meghdootam”, the immortal poet Kalidas used clouds as a messenger to convey his feelings of love for humanity – through the usual medium of a love story. (A Yaksha sending his message of love to his beloved). In a way the inkblots can also be considered as a suitable, imaginative and effective means for a heart to heart dialogue between the sufferer (the patient) and the healer (the doctor). The message, in both cases, is written in an invisible ink and in a coded language, to be seen, heard, understood and appreciated by only an open, sensitive, receptive and imaginative mind. Clouds are as unstructured as ambiguous stimulus material as the inkblots.

Still in the process of structuring it, a message is conveyed and received. The encoding of this message may be partial in the hands of an untrained less educated mind and improves with practice. The secret message once encoded is no longer a secret. It is shared by others.

Hermann Rorschach developed this technique but unfortunately could not see it through due to his early and premature demise. Wilfred A. Cassell is attempting to complete this unfinished task the Somatic Inkblot Series that naturally has a series of versions – the card version, the booklet version and the Video versions. Some of these versions have parallel forms; others are still being developed and standardized. Through the formation of the Somatic Inkblot Society, B.L. Dubey is carrying this torch of light forward and giving it a well-derived momentum, in the true sense of a cavalier. He has taken it upon himself to take up this “Challenge”. This society and the official Journal of the Society are both having their teething problems. It is expected also. It is for us to help see that they succeed in their efforts.

A great deal of skill is required in this process of encoding the message conveyed through the inkblots. To some, it may come as natural but for most of us it is an ongoing process of learning. Results are to be both qualitatively and quantitatively treated. Complete dependence on one method alone may not be sufficient for completely understanding and appreciating the full potential of this “messenger:” The process may require some refinements, which may take some time. Initial experiences may be rewarding at time but frustrating at other times – from the point of view of limited goals, but I am sure in the long run, the positive achievements would be far more rewarding and satisfying, while the negative findings would help us setting the limits for them as well as goading us to modify our approach to improve upon the existing methods of scoring and interpreting the results. Let us take up this challenge and share the bliss of decoding this special “message conveyed to us through this medium.

Therapeutic Dream Stimulation with the Somatic Inkblot Series – Video, Wilfred A. Cassell and B.L.Dubey, pages 3-23.

The Somatic Inkblot Series-II video (SIS-Video) was administered to a 41 years old woman who was suffering from depression. After viewing the SIS-Video she dreamt about an early life sled dog team. At the age of 3 years, she witnessed her 18 months old brother being killed by a sled dog, her limited verbal skill at the age of 3 years and the emotional unavailability of her parents, who themselves were grief stricken, she could never share this experience with anybody before the administration of this test. This suggests the power of somatic inkblot images not only as a diagnostic tool but also a therapeutic aid and a remarkable time machine.

Some Experiences with Somatic Inkblot Series-II, N.L. Dosajh, pages 25-33.

During the author’s experience of about 50 years as a Clinical Psychologist, he used projective tests like Rorschach, Holtzman Inkblot Test, TAT and Dosajh Test for psycho diagnosis. Recently he has started using Somatic Inkblot Series-II (SIS-II) because he finds it more convenient, easier to administer and easier to interpret than other projective test. It elicits more projective material with a number of somatic responses. All this has been illustrated by taking a concrete case of an early schizophrenia.

4. Diagnostic Utility of Piotrowski’s Alpha Index, Suprakash Chaudhary and S.G. Jyothi, pages 35-40.

The Rorschach test by Klopfer’s method was administered to 100 consecutive Schizophrenic patients and 100 consecutive neurotic patients. The records of 54 Schizophrenics and 41 neurotics fulfilled the two requirements for application of Piotrowaski’s Alpha Index. The Alpha index correctly classified 46 Schizophrenics and 29 neurotics. The Alpha index had a sensitivity of 85.2% and a specificity of 70.7%, which compares favorably with other diagnostic tests in clinical medicine.

5. Utility of Projective Tests in the Psychological Assessment of Transsexual Patients: A Case Study Approach, Jayanti Basu and Sonali De, pages 41-55.

The Draw-a-person test the Rorschach Inkblot test was administered to three male transsexual patients. Analysis of the figures drawn by the subjects was done following Machover (1948) and the Rorschach responses were scored following Klopfer Davidson (1962). Results revealed that despite inter individual variability, the two tests brought out certain common factors which delineate the inner dynamics and conflict of the transsexual persons, particularly, their rejection of the male body, glorification of the female features and difficulty in adequate human relationships are highlighted.

6. Sexual and Aggressive Contents in Rorschach Card- II, Ana Herrers, J. Jacobo Requelme, Frances Krivoy and Audrey Meza, 57-68.

Within the normative and trams cultural research developed in Venezuela for Rorschach, responses to Card II given by a non-patients Caracas inhabitant’s sample was analyzed. Different authors present a coincidence pointing out Card II as a complex inkblot, which could easily stimulate responses with sexual and aggressive contents, as well as primitive and regressive fantasies. In order to assess sexual, aggressive and primitive object relations’ contents in responses in Caracas sample for the ten Rorschach Cards, with the aim of considering the specific weight of the aggressive and/or sexual contents provoked by Card II. Results are discussed regarding differences between males and females subjects as well as considering the shocking effects of Card II.

7. SIS – II Profile of Drug And alcohol Dependent CasesDependent Cases, Amool R. Singh and B.L. Dubey, pages 69-74.

Fifty drug dependent and 50 alcohols dependent cases (matched on age, sex and education) were administered Somatic Inkblot Series-II (SIS-II). The SIS protocols were scored as per standard procedures (Cassell 1990) and were compared for the chosen variables selected for the study. The findings are discussed in the light of earlier work in the area. The SIS II can be used as a powerful psycho diagnostic tool for discriminating drug and alcohol dependent groups from normal subjects.

8. Body Image Disturbances in Psychiatric Cases, D. Pershad, S.K. Verma and Kusum Bhagat, 75-84

50 Normal, 57 Neurotic and 70 psychotic patients were included in the study to find out the extent and type of body image disturbances in psychiatric patients and compare the body image disturbances in patients with different types of psychiatric illnesses. SIS-II test was administered individually. It was observed that Most Typical responses and Sex responses were minimum in the psychotic groups as compared to their normal healthy counter parts. This indicated that psychotics tended to deny anatomical structure and their perception was not in conformity with the typical responses. Movement responses and projection of images were high in pathological groups. In the normal group, 26 percent of the subjects gave their responses similar to the structural theme of the image. In the neurotic group this number was reduced similar to the structural theme of the image. In the neurotic group this number was reduced to 23 percent and in psychotics it was only 18 percent. However, a significantly high correlation was observed between Normal and Neurotics, Normal and Psychotics and Neurotics and Psychotics in their perceptual and structural theme on 16 images. The highest concordance was the thematic structure of the kidney, spine and fetus.
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