Theoretical Model

Roman Rorschach School

Multidimensional Model

The Roman Rorschach School considers the Rorschach a reliable, timely, refined and complex Personality Investigation Technique .

The study of the material provided by the subject is conducted following different methodological approaches (dimensions), benefiting, in the reading of them, from different theoretical models of reference but which frequently find extraordinary convergences in the Rorschach experiment.

The Roman Rorschach School does not embrace a single theoretical model of reference in its interpretive approach, not considering the Rorschach instrument subjectable to a single theory.

No single personality theory alone can explain and handle the immense wealth of information that flows from the interpretation of Blots.

The studies and research promoted by the Institute are directed toward all the dimensions that make up the vast interpretive universe that invests the Rorschach itself.

Psychometric dimension

The first interpretive approach to the Rorschach is undoubtedly that which refers to the psychometric dimension-that is, the study of the signatures, indices, percentages and averages, which make up the Mirror of Computations or Psychogram. Culturally, the Roman Rorschach School since its origins (1938), has attached the utmost importance to the study of the Siglatures integrating into its Method the most significant contributions starting with the studies of H. Binder on chiaroscuro, those of S. Piotrowski on movements, of M. Loosli Usteri on Chocs, R. Schafer, and again with the studies of B. Klopfer, D. Rapaport, A. Silveira, C. Beizman, S.J. Beck, E. Bohm, and many other contemporary scholars such as J. E. Exner, A. Passalacqua and others.

The study of acronyms is for the Roman Rorschach School Method the indispensable basis of Rorschach psychodiagnostics. Over nearly a century of study and research, the Method has gradually refined and evolved, providing stability, security and timeliness to the psychodiagnostic report.

Among the latest significant updates to the method, the classification system of Particular Manifestations divided into three levels, the organization of Contents into eight different categories with specific psychodiagnostic value and Multiple Determinants are considered of particular interest. These updates to the acronym system, have proven to be of great help particularly in the clinical setting for differential diagnosis and prognostic evaluations.

Psychodynamic dimension

It allows for the integration of Rorschach diagnostics with the meanings and relevance pertaining to psychoanalytically grounded depth psychology.

The Institute recognizes the extraordinary contribution made to Rorschach practice by the many scholars of psychoanalytic culture who have emphasized the importance, in the psychodiagnostic context, of the study of the Contents of the Interpretations given by the subject, Symbolic-type Responses and Complex Responses.

Contents express the world of the subject’s ideas, interests and values: the symbolic meaning recognizable in some interpretations reveals the deeper psychological dimensions related to conflicts, fixations, foibles, desires and more or less hidden tendencies of the human soul.

Complex Responses, of high projective value, manifest, often, the subjective and personal nature of the deepest emotions.

This study dimension of the Rorschach report, when supported and objectified by the psychometric data of the Mirror of Computations, makes it easy for the experienced examiner to assess the degree of removal, the effectiveness of defenses, and the psychic resources available in the subject under examination.

Gestalt Dimension

It is in direct relation to the very structure of each Blur.

The study takes into consideration the subject-provided Sigils for each area of the Blur, in relation to the statistical frequencies of the same on that area, established on samples of normal and pathological subjects. This means for psychodiagnostic purposes, evaluating the Sigilatures present in a Rorschach Protocol, also in relation to the area interpreted. For example, a human kinesthetic response provided in a Table that is statistically poor in human movement responses such as Table V, undoubtedly has different diagnostic weight from a kinesthetic response provided at Table III involving the usual human figures. A good example is the Global Interpretation in Tav. V: “Flight of Icarus.”

Thus a Sexual Content Response to Table V itself, which by its structure does not facilitate Sexual Interpretations, will carry a different weight than a Sexual Response given to Table VI, which Hermann Rorschach had already indicated as the Blur in which sexual content was most frequently found.

Such a study, of course, proves to be particularly interesting for psychodiagnostic purposes when it is also related to the formal qualities of the answers given by the subject.

Dimension related to the Summoner Character

A further interpretive aspect of particular interest, concerns the analysis of the Interpretations in relation to the symbolic, content and evocative value of each Table.

This study dimension of the Rorschach Protocol is also supported by purely empirical-statistical observations that many scholars, starting with H. Rorschach himself, have emphasized from analysis of their samples.

There is no significant divergence, on the part of scholars who have dealt with the subject, with respect to the symbolic value and evocative character of the Spots. The study concerns the type and quality of Interpretations provided by the subject, in relation to the issue evoked by each Table.

Additional aspects that deserve further study for psychodiagnostic evaluation are related to the study of the consecutio temporum of interpretations, i.e., the perceptual-associative organization conducted Table by Table, Supplementary Trials, any differences between what the subject interpreted during the Collection and what he or she instead stated at the time of the Inquiry, on the significance of the possible absence of “expected responses,” the analysis of the subject’s behavior during the Trial, and the transferal dynamic between examiner and subject.

We hope that this paper, which is a brief summary of our way of conceiving and popularizing the Rorschach discipline, may make those who approach the psychodiagnostic subject understand the depth, pliability and extraordinary investigative capacity of the Blots created by Hermann Rorschach.

The idea proper to the Roman Rorschach School with respect to the culture of stains can be well summarized with this axiom: the investigative capacity of the Rorschach is in direct relation to two factors; the first concerns the competence and experience of the examiner, the second concerns the Method followed.

Salvatore Parisi, Patrizia Pes

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