Contributions to the Method

of the Roman Rorschach School

Nearly a century devoted to the study and research of the Rorschach Method

From the first draft of Carlo Rizzo’s volume ” L’Adulto Sano di Mente,” in which the master described the basis of the system proper to the Roman Rorschach School, since the mid-1980s, thanks to the numerous researches conducted by the Institute, the Method has been enriched in the various aspects related to the initialing, the creation of new Indexes, and the elaboration of the Mirror of Computations.

The most relevant contributions to the Roman Rorschach School Method, in the psychometric dimension, were:

– the valorization of Multiple Determinants that allows the co-presence, in complex Responses, of the different Primary and Secondary Determinants as the subject provided them in his Interpretation without breaking them down as many authors including Professor Carlo Rizzo, used to suggest.

Example: Table. II “…Aeneas descending into the underworld, where he meets the shadows of Hades…” Successive Combinatorial Global Response (Aeneas in upper central detail D7; underworld in reds, for color only; shadows of Hades throughout black D1+1, for color only).


Another important insight of Parisi and Pes, was to classify Particular Manifestations into three evolutionary levels; this applies to Contamination, Confabulation, Self-referral and Perseveration. Regarding Confabuilation, the assignment of Level must take into account beyond the formal component, the congruity or otherwise of the confabulated engram.

In the example just cited about Multiple Determinants, congruity is respected in that in Virgil’s poem “the Aeneid,” Aeneas goes to Hades to meet the shadows of his ancestors: this is why Confabulation is Level II.

Level One groups those produced predominantly by subjects with sufficiently differentiated psychic instances, who are not involved in highly conflicting issues, or at least the conflicts are curbed by specific areas and are neurotic in nature. In addition to detecting specific problems, the Particular Manifestations of this First Level serve to highlight traits of the subject’s character, allowing a more detailed psychological picture to be drawn.

The Second Level deals with Particular Manifestations that are definitely pathological and of a certain severity. They already indicate inadequacies in perceptual-associative processes that arise, however, from affective problems, as is the case with Personality Disorders, even if they involve personalities that are not excessively impaired. The core of the pathology is mainly focused on affectivity, object relations, self-identity.

The Third Level is the most primitive and most pathological. It indicates severe difficulties in perceptual-associative processes, and the pathology affects all psychic instances. Many of the Particular Manifestations of this Third Level may also point toward a diagnosis of organic pathology, but this will have to be confirmed by other Indices of the Mirror of Computes or other more specific investigations.

This distinction into three levels of Particular Manifestations proved to be one of the most powerful elements of the differential diagnostics of the Roman Rorschach School.

Let us look specifically at what this is all about by addressing three examples of Contaminated Responses; interpretations that are similar or have similar characteristics to, for example, Table V.

1) A rabbit with the wings of a bat (Global Response, rabbit in the central detail D3, ears in the upper protuberances Dd 6, wings the usual D 7 ); in this case we have two elements of Good Form in a decidedly Contaminated Response.

Signed: G F+ A (V) C1

This Response is considered a First Level Contamination because the shape of the rabbit and the shape of the wings are both positive. The Reality Examination is Adequate.

2) A snake with the wings of a bat (Global Response, snake in central detail D3, wings the usual D 7 ); in this case we have an element of Good Shape the wings of the bat, and one of decidedly Bad Shape and also Original.

Signed: G F± A (V)(O±) C2

This Response is considered a Second Level Contamination since the shape of the snake is negative and the shape of the wings is positive. The Reality Examination is Deficient in that the formal aspect and sense of Reality are compromised.

3) A snake with dragonfly wings (Global Response, snake in central detail D3, dragonfly wings in D 7) in this case we have both elements of negative form

Signed: G F- A O- C3

This Response is considered a Third Level Contamination. Reality check is Absent highlighting a psychotic matrix.

In the volume “The Psychoanalytic Interpretation of the Rorschach Structural Dynamic Model” (Ed. Kappa 1995) by Giambelluca, Parisi, Pes, it is suggested, in order to make a differential diagnosis, to start from the Reality Examination assessment, which is clearly composed of other elements related to the Psychometric Dimension.

In this same volume, the Authors introduce a new Index “the Diagnostic Convergence of Contents” that enriches the psychometric dimension of the Method, namely the division of Contents into 8 Categories:

Category No. 1: Col, Ele, Esc, Mac, Poz, Spo.

Category No. 2: All Contents of Simulacrum, Ark, Astr, Biol, Ghiac, Min, Nub, Pal, Phi, Rad, Schel, H mixed with Mit, Mos.

Category No. 3: Espl, Foc, Nat, Sang.

Category No. 4: Abstr, Sign.

Category No. 5: Fab, Fant, Gioc, Mos.

Category N 6: Male, H/Masch, Hd/Masch, Arald, Obj/Vest, Scene, Arch.

Category No. 7: Seconary contents related to H, Hd, A, Ad, Anat, Obj, Sex, of definite complexual significance.

Category No. 8: All Content, excluding those in Category 1. In order for these Contents to together constitute Category No. 8, they must be of good Form, preferably Original or Semi-Original, have a good affective tone, be variously represented, and above all belong to a Rorschach of good developmental level and not particularly conflictual.

Parallel Tables



Systemic Rorschach

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