The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities

The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities

The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities

The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities


This book is the definitive empirical study of antisocial character pathology and its assessment through the use of the Rorschach. Drawing upon a decade of research with nearly 400 individuals in various hospitals and prisons, the authors paint an extraordinary intrapsychic picture of the personality structure and psychodynamics of these troublesome patients. Serving as both an educational tool and a reference text, this book presents Rorschach data on several different antisocial groups - conduct disordered children and adolescents, antisocial personality disordered adult males with and without schizophrenia, antisocial adult females, and male and female sexual homicide perpetrators; nomothetic (group) and idiographic (case study) data; data which have been analyzed and theoretically interpreted using both Comprehensive Systems and psychoanalytic approaches which represent the cutting edge of Rorschach theory and practice; a developmental approach in analyzing Rorschach data gathered from antisocial children, adolescents, and adults - providing striking similarities. This is the first such Rorschach database published. It serves as a valuable reference text for Rorschach users - providing a definitive empirical base, theoretical integration, and clinical understanding of individuals who create severe social problems for society.


The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities could not have been written 25 years ago. The authors' unswerving devotion and two significant developments in assessment and personality theory have made this work possible.

The first of these advances is with the Rorschach. As the authors note, Robert Lindner suggested early on that the Rorschach might prove uniquely useful in understanding antisocial and psychopathic personality. So did Samuel Beck, whose name is commemorated with a Society for Personality Assessment Award for which Dr. Gacono was the 1994 recipient. Sadly, neither of these early psychologists had the technology to take full advantage of their vision. The synthesis that John Exner has brought to the Rorschach and the computer technology that allows the thoughtful analysis of large-sample data now make it possible to realize the test's promise.

The second development has been in personality theory. Advances in psychoanalysis, particularly object relations theory and self psychology, have brought a much more precise conceptualization of borderline and psychotic-level personality organization. The pioneering work of Mahler, Kernberg, and Kohut foreshadowed what has now become a multifaceted, genuinely exciting literature of personality disorder.

It is these two advances--in the Rorschach and in personality theory--that Carl Gacono and Reid Meloy have brought together in this landmark book. They realized that the combination of the "new" Rorschach and the "new" psychoanalysis had the potential for bringing greater clarity to our picture of personality . . .

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