It was a busy summer highlighted when Tony Sciara, Irv Weiner, and Barry Ritzler traveled to Buenos Aires to present a Comprehensive System advanced workshop to over 60 participants from FERSiC International, the Comprehensive System foundation in Argentina. This was the fourth such program organized by Marta Medina, Director of FERSiC. Each of us presented two cases in the four-day format. In addition, Irv Weiner and Barry Ritzler presented a critique of R-PAS; Barry Ritzler introduced a new alternative to the TAT, the Picture Projection Test (PPT) developed by Anat Ben-Zvi and Barry Ritzler; Joao Gavela, Luisa Gil and Tony Sciara introduced the Rorschach Plus (R+) web based computer program. A fifth program is already in the planning stages for 2014.
In discussing R-PAS, Irv Weiner made the point that changing the administration method to a “push for two, pull after four” administration makes for an entirely new Rorschach system–a forced-choice rather than a free-choice method. The R-PAS system rarely turns out to be a “pull after four” system but often becomes a “push for two” system. This raises the possibility that users of the R-PAS system do not spend enough time preparing the client for Rorschach assessment. Barry Ritzler again questioned the reliance of R-PAS on international norms which were gathered using the Comprehensive System for administration and coding and not their administration method. The R-PAS developers also do not use all the international samples, but select only those that work for them-a luxury not usually available to researchers. Even with the selected norms, the results are low on the use of color and complexity. So much so, that the R-PAS manual has no chapter on the interpretation of affective functioning. The R-PAS group says they are trying to make the Rorschach “easy”, yet their manual has two chapters on coding, the second of which makes the process seem as difficult as ever. Some new variables are very, very difficult to code by hand and require computer assistance.
Both Irv Weiner and Barry Ritzler expressed concern about the dearth of research on the R-PAS system. They referred to the SPA symposium in Chicago comparing the R-PAS system with the Comprehensive System. Both systems seemed to work equally well which raises the question as to why a new system is necessary, especially since the Comprehensive System has such a rich research foundation.
Picture Projection Test (PPT)
Barry Ritzler presented the Picture Projection Test (PPT), an updated, colored apperception test designed to be an improved alternative to the TAT. He discussed a recent research study which will also be presented at the SPA meeting in San Diego in March, 2013. The study compares PPT results of individuals with severe psychiatric problems to individuals without psychiatric problems. Even though the PPT stories were of equal length in both groups, all scoring categories significantly differentiated troubled individuals from non-troubled individuals, with the exception of the relationships category. Troubled individuals showed poorer form quality and less emotion. The emotion which was articulated by troubled individuals was significantly more negative than that by non-troubled individuals. Anat Ben-Zvi and Barry Ritzler are working to develop a better measure of relationships.
Rorschach Plus (R+)
Nuno Sargento, Joao Gavela and Luisa Gil from Portugal continue to develop and refine their web based administration, scoring and interpretation program for the Comprehensive System. Tony Sciara has been consulting with the group from the beginning and is helping with development of the interpretation data base. If you are looking for technology to assist you with administration, coding and interpretation for the Comprehensive System, you might be interested in this new program. Visit www.rorschachplus.com to see the current beta version which is available.
A Little Book on Coding
While in Argentina, discussions between Tony Sciara, Barry Ritzler and Irv Weiner focused on the development of a new coding manual for the Comprehensive System to assist students, clinicians and teachers. We decided to write a book on coding for the Comprehensive System which would be easy to read and understand, guide coding decisions and make clear the impact of those decisions on interpretation. More details on the book and how to order it will appear on the RTP website.
Future Programs 2013
While final arrangements are still in process, RTP is happy to announce two beginning programs and one advanced program for 2013. The first Beginning Program is scheduled for April 3- April 7, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. The five-day program will be held Wednesday through Sunday and provides 35 hours of CE credit. It is in the usual format of teaching via case protocols and will cover administration, coding, and interpretation. Full details will soon be available on the RTP website.
The second program will also be a Beginning Program scheduled for June 24 to 28, 2013 (a Monday through Friday format) at the University of Hartford in Hartford, Connecticut. This location is about two hours from New York City and Boston.
The third program will be an Advanced/Reunion Program that will be held in Asheville, North Carolina October 18 to 20, 2013 (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). It will be an advanced program focusing on life-span development of both the Comprehensive System and clients who are evaluated. Irv Weiner will present development of the Comprehensive System from the early days until the present. He is uniquely qualified as helping to design and teach the system along with John Exner. He will also discuss concerns about R-PAS and will speak about the future development of the Comprehensive System. Cases to be presented will include a child, an adolescent, a young adult, a more mature adult, and a senior.
RTP Email Group
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As John Exner was fond of saying, “Keep your blots dry.”