Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Rorschach  book cover
1st Edition

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Rorschach

ISBN 9781138005303
Published June 9, 2014 by Routledge
510 Pages

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Book Description

Few books illuminate a domain of clinical inquiry as superbly as Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Rorschach. Paul Lerner has written a comprehensive text that offers a richly detailed, multidimensional vision of the Rorschach as the ideal medium for operationalizing, testing, and in some instances transforming contemporary clinical theory.

For psychoanalytic therapists, the book provides a fascinating overview of how the coevolution of psychoanalytic theory and Rorschach technique has created new possibilities for conceptual integration. Lerner explores recent advances in our ability to operationalize such clinical concepts as splitting, dissociation, and false-self organization. He then reviews how these advances have been applied to research into psychic organization across different diagnostic categories, including anorexia and bulimia, aggressive and psychopathic personality, and schizotypal disorders. Finally, Lerner shows how the resulting data offer a unique vantage point from which to clarify such critical topics as developmental object relations and the structure of primitive experience.

Rorschach scholars will appreciate Lerner's informed discussions of theorists as diverse as Rapaport and Schachtel, Exner and Mayman, Schafer and Leichtman. Rorschach students, for their part, will find the book an unusually lucid introduction to test administration, scoring, interpretation, and report writing. Even here, however, Lerner's breadth and originality are apparent, for his exposition of these testing fundamentals incorporates fresh discussions of the nature of the Rorschach test, the impact of the patient-examiner relationship, and the value of the test in treatment planning. Timely, definitive, and uniquely integrative, Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Rorschach will be valued by students, clinicians, and researchers well into the next century.

Table of Contents

I. Clinical Applications
1. An Experiential Psychoanalytic Approach
2. The Nature of the Rorschach Task
3. The Psychological Test Report
4. Psychoanalytic Diagnostic Scheme
5. The Rorschach Assessment Frame
6. Administration and Scoring
7. The Patient-Examiner Relationship
8. Major Scores: The Dimensions of the Rorschach
9. The Fifth Scoring Category
10. Specific Scores and Their Meaning
11. The Analysis of Content
12. The Analysis of Sequence
13. Two Approaches to Interpretation
14. The Inference Process
15. Rorschach Assessment and Treatment Planning
II. Research Applications
16. The Rorschach Assessment of Object Representations
17. Rorschach Assessment of Defense: I. Traditional Measures
18. Rorschach Assessment of Defense: II. Recent Measures
19. Dissociation: Theoretical and Assessment Considerations
20. Developmental Object Relations
21. Rapaport's Deviant Verbalization Scores and Research
22. The Borderline Concept and the Rorschach Test
23. Variants of the Borderline Concept and the Rorschach Test
24. Rorschach Measures of Narcissism and the Narcissistic Patient
25. The Rorschach and Assessing Treatment Outcome
26. Toward an Integrated Rorschach Approach

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Paul M. Lerner, Ed.D., psychoanalyst and psychologist, is an award-winning Rorschach researcher and past President of the Society for Personality Assessment.  The author of Psychoanalytic Theory and the Rorschach (Analytic Press, 1991), he is currently in private practice in Camden, ME. 


“In this volume, Paul Lerner summarizes, consolidates, and expands upon his previous contributions to Rorschach psychology.  Once again we are in the presence of a master clinician and diagnostician. Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Rorschach is an encyclopedic work that will define the field of Rorschach inquiry for many years to come.   It is a book to study and to cherish, both for its intellectual rigor and clinical wisdom.”

- James E. Gorney, Ph.D.

“If there is a contemporary godfather of psychoanalysis and the Rorschach, it is Paul Lerner.  In this exemplary book, Dr. Lerner makes us a scholarly offering we cannot refuse.”

- J. Reid Meloy, Ph.D., Author, The Mark of Cain (Analytic Press, 2001)

Psychoanalytic Perspectives on the Rorschach virtually glows, not only because of the illuminating vignettes and short case examples, but also because Rorschach data are translated into experientially based statements.  It is a wonderful introduction to modern clinical assessment theory that reflects important observations in psychoanalytic theory and describes those changes as they gain expression in the interpretive process.  In Rorschach psychology this book is a ‘W+.’  In the terminology of baseball – of which Lerner is a dedicated enthusiast – it is a grand slam.” 

- Leonard Handler, Ph.D., University of Tennessee