The Assessment of Object Relations Phenomena in Adolescents: Tat and Rorschach Measures

The Assessment of Object Relations Phenomena in Adolescents: Tat and Rorschach Measures

The Assessment of Object Relations Phenomena in Adolescents: Tat and Rorschach Measures

The Assessment of Object Relations Phenomena in Adolescents: Tat and Rorschach Measures


This book offers clinicians a long-awaited comprehensive paradigm for assessing object relations functioning in disturbed younger and older adolescents. It gives a clear sense of how object relations functioning is manifest in different disorders, and illuminates how scores on object relations measures are converted into a therapeutically relevant diagnostic matrix and formulation.

Outlining the process of object relations assessment, Kelly presents vividly detailed cases of a range of disorders including anorexia nervosa, borderline states, depressive disorders, and trauma. The cases portray the vicissitudes of object relations functioning and disruption that result in a unique structural developmental composite for a given adolescent.

A major concern is demonstrating the utility and validity of two object representation measures--The Mutuality of Autonomy Scale (MOA) and The Social Cognition Object Relations Scale (SCORS)--that are the main ones employed in the assessment of adolescents. MOA and SCORS scores facilitate a multidimensional understanding of the nuances of an adolescent's object relations functioning, and provide clinicians with organized, theory-based data leading to clear, specific treatment directions and guidelines and appropriate therapeutic programming. The book addresses the following questions:

• Is individual psychotherapy indicated--will this adolescent benefit from an insight-oriented approach?

• What are the likely directions that transference parameters will take in the treatment?

• What types of countertransference reactions are likely to be anticipated in a given patient?

• Is medication likely to be helpful in making this adolescent more accessible for treatment?

Focusing only on adolescents, covering both the TAT and the Rorschach, and utilizing object relations theory as its major interpretive foundation, the book offers practitioners an alternative to general references based on a more actuarial, nomothetic, and atheoretical interpretive approach. It reflects one school of contemporary thought in projective assessment--one that advocates a more phenomenological, theory-based approach to test application and interpretation.


This book discusses object representation assessment of the adolescent. It is designed to introduce the reader to essential theoretical tenets of object relations theory, especially as they apply to the adolescent, and to illustrate how this theoretical model lends itself to the clinical situation regarding the psychological assessment of object representation parameters in normal and disturbed adolescents. Several key assumptions guide this work.

The first assumption is that object representations are psychological constructs that capture the multidimensional aspects of the individual's inner template. More specifically, they order, categorize, and detail the vicissitudes of affective and cognitive experiences related to past and present experiences that relate to the self and others.

The second assumption is that these representations or multi-faceted schemata serve as a type of lighthouse or beacon that helps to orient, direct, and guide the nature of a person's relatedness with others. The bulk of the emphasis stresses the examination and exploration of how object representation information, vividly depicted by empirically derived measures, can provide a rich, clinically relevant and multidimensional perspective capturing the nuance and uniqueness of a given adolescent's inner representational world. An attempt is made to illustrate how this information may in turn be translated into hypotheses and prognostications regarding the adolescent's preferred transactions with his or her interpersonal world. This also extends to musings and informed hunches regarding patterns of relatedness in relation to the clinical situation.

This volume offers an assessment paradigm complementary to the more widely used approaches to the interpretation of the Rorschach and . . .

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