Contemporary Rorschach Interpretation

By J. Reid Meloy; Marvin W. Acklin et al. | Go to book overview

sibling transference to affect his perception of women. Before a brief epilogue satisfies the reader's desire to know how the story turns out, his last response, the so-called signature response, bears comment as it carries a hopeful sign. Response 14, "Spiders dancing around": Animal Movement or Human Movement with Animal Content? Do spiders dance around? That is the question. Do they jump about, move quickly and nimbly? I think they do. Do they do the Jitterbug? I think not. What to do? Assuming, for the moment, an experienced Rorschacher, a scoring dilemma, the experience of uncertainty, may represent a successful projective identification, an interactional communication, here helping the tester/scorer sample Mr. Y's uncertainty about relatedness. The scorer's momentary uncertainty is momentarily isomorphic with Mr. Y's uncertainty. At some level he might wish for cooperative human interaction, but he is defending against it, knowing he will spoil it, as he did on this response. The analysis of this conflict may help both tester and therapist experience the optimism necessary to sustain the journey toward a higher level of relatedness.


EPILOGUE

Mr. Y terminated therapy several months after the completion of the diagnostic testing on which this chapter was based. Although he did report a mild reduction in his anxiety, it was eventually discovered that he had been "cheating" on his psychiatrist, obtaining Xanax from his motherly, physician girlfriend. In the end we discovered that Mr. Y, like many neurotics, did suffer from "AIDS," that is, Aversion to Insight Disorder, a condition best combatted with a combination of nomothetic and theory-driven idiographic approaches to the Rorschach.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

This chapter was part of a symposium entitled "Neurotic Personality Organization: Through the Looking Glass III" presented at the Midwinter Meeting of the Society for Personality Assessment in San Francisco on March 20, 1993.

I thank the other members of the symposium, especially Dr. Marvin "Cap'n" Acklin, for their mutual stimulation, Dr. Fred Schick for access to case data, and the Department of Veterans Affairs for supporting this research. This article is dedicated to Dr. Murray Tieger, my first supervisory hero, and an "expert diagnostic consultant" incarnate.


REFERENCES

Abend, S. M., & Porder, M. A. ( 1983). Borderline patients: Psychoanalytic perspectives ( Kris Study Group B. Fine Monograph , Ed.). New York: International Universities Press.

American Psychiatric Association. ( 1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders ( 3rd ed., rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

Exner, J. E. ( 1986). The Rorschach: A comprehensive system ( 2nd ed.). New York: Wiley.

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