NOVEMBER/DECEMBER NEWSLETTER

ANTHONY SCIARA, PHD & BARRY RITZLER, PHD

For too long the faculty at Rorschach Training Programs have been struggling with a decision that we now make public with this, final, newsletter. After 11 years of operation we have decided to close Rorschach Training Programs and move on with other adventures during our later years in life.

But, first a bit of a review. RTP was begun after John Exner’s death in 2006. The original founders of RTP were Tony Sciara, Barry Ritzler and Phil Edberg. Phil, along with John Exner and Irving Weiner, made many contributions to the Comprehensive System. Phil, however withdrew early on from RTP, joined R-PAS, and continues to make contributions to personality assessment using the Rorschach with R-PAS.

Before his death, John made it clear that he would like a training arm to continue teaching the CS. It was with his blessing, and with much support from Rorschach Workshops, including Doris Exner (John’s wife) and Andi Exner (John’s daughter) that we were able to move forward. They allowed us to use the Workshop materials in our teaching and have always been encouraging of our efforts. Our thanks to them for their gracious and ongoing support for these many years. They continue to encourage people to research and make modifications to the CS as John had done for many years.

During operations of RTP we conducted many training program to provide students with a foundation in the CS and to help those with previous training in the CS maintain and increase their skills at personality assessment. Over the years we conducted programs in Asheville, NC; Frisco, TX; Dallas, TX; Tampa, FL; Hartford, CT; New York City; San Francisco; Tokyo, Japan; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Toronto, Canada; Helsinki, Finland; Tel-Aviv, Israel; Padua, Italy; and Paris, France.

We also found the opportunity to write and publish various resource materials in order to communicate more clearly what we were trying to teach. Those various resources include:

The Little Book on Administration for the Rorschach Comprehensive System, 2006, by Sciara and Ritzler

Interpretation Workbook for the Rorschach Comprehensive System, 2011, by Ritzler and Sciara

Coding Strategies for the Rorschach Comprehensive System, 2014, by Sciara, Weiner and Ritzler

Forensic Client History and Checklist, 2015, by Sciara.

We were fortunate enough to have each of these translated into Spanish and published through FERSiC in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the help of Marta Medina.

So why stop now? We are getting older and have no one to take over the operation of RTP. Barry and Tony are both in their 70’s and the siren songs of golf, travel, family, and relaxing are calling.

While there have been a number of individuals associated with RTP, there have been none (including Barry and Tony) that has been more crucial to the ongoing operation than Carolyn Braddom-Ritzler, Ed.D. Carolyn took over the operation of RTP relatively early on. Barry and Tony could be challenging to ‘manage’! Carolyn provided all the administrative, marketing, accounting, program preparation, and general management for RTP for a decade. She has been an astute visionary with all aspects of running a training program. Without her, we would have completed only a fraction of what we did. And, she did this all without ever getting paid!

Carolyn was also the driving force for our website and did all the coordination and management of the site with the able assistance of Charlie Zegers of Bronx River Digital Media.

We have also been very grateful for the participation of other colleagues in teaching. Anita Boss, PsyD has been a regular faculty member who brought not only special skills in forensic assessment and multi-method assessment, but also an incredible ability to engage and teach that was always prominently noted in student feedback. Chris Fowler, PhD, also gave two excellent programs on risk for suicide.

Dr. Irving Weiner, our esteemed colleague, has made many contributions not only to the Comprehensive System but also to RTP. Dr. Weiner was kind enough to teach with us in several workshops, but also has generously given of his experience and knowledge in guiding us through issues with which we struggled over the years. He also co-authored Coding Strategies for the Rorschach Comprehensive System.

We wish to thank the founder and primary developer of the Comprehensive System, and our boss of many years—Dr. John E. Exner, Jr. Without John, Rorschach Training Programs and this newsletter would never have existed. We had the unique opportunity to spend many, many hours with John who was always so generous in sharing his knowledge, insight, and data on the CS. He was emphatic that engaging students with appropriate teaching was the expectation. When we did not meet that expectation he was always forthcoming and appropriate with his feedback for improving our skills. He was always generous financially and there were many great discussions over meals at wonderful restaurants for which he would never allow us to pay. He was very active in the development and production of The Little Book on Administration for the Rorschach Comprehensive System, but unfortunately died before it’s ultimate publication. It was his idea to have a video presentation of administering a Rorschach. For all these gifts, and many others we say, “Thank you John.”

We have many others to thank. First, we want to express our appreciation to you, our subscribers. The newsletter subscription numbers have grown to nearly 1000 and we hope you have found our information about the Rorschach and the Comprehensive System helpful and informative.

We are also grateful to the Society for Personality Assessment. We were honored for many years with the opportunity to teach at the annual meetings and hope that our participation was helpful in supporting the goals of SPA, the premiere organization for personality assessment.

An international organization that focused specifically on the Rorschach, the International Rorschach Congress has also been gracious in including us in their programs. It is important for us to also acknowledge the Comprehensive System International Rorschach Association (CSIRA) along with its President, Anne Andronikoff from France and Vice President, Noriko Nakamura from Japan (Dr. Nakamura also is the current president of the International Rorschach Congress). The officers and members of CSIRA are committed to the further development and dissemination of the Comprehensive System.

We also want to recognize those who contributed articles to the RTP newsletter.

We have received support from CS scholars in other countries including: Marta Medina and Isidro Sanz of Argentina; Rachel Eitan, Shira Tibon, and Ety Berant of Israel; Lafite Yazigi, Anna Elisa de Villemor Amaral and Regina Nascimento from Brazil; Piero Petrocelli, Anna Maria Rosso and Adrianna Lis of Italy; Leo Cohen and Christine De Ruiter from the Netherlands; and Heikke Toivakka and Karl-Eric Maatlar of Finland.

So, while we say good bye to this active role of teaching within the operational structure of RTP, we will always have an active interest in the CS. Both Barry and Tony will maintain some availability for private workshops and consultation.

Our books will continue to be available for sale through December 28, 2017 after which time they will be out of print and unavailable. If you desire to purchase any of our products please let us know soon so that we may get those to you quickly. If you wish to order more than one of any item, please contact carolynritzler@hotmail.com for special discounted prices.

Thanks again to all of you who have enriched our lives by your participation, fellowship, friendship, consultation and hard work. To take a page from our bosses book, “Keep your blots dry.”

Tony Sciara (shrinkman61@gmail.com)
Barry Ritzler (barry.ritzler@liu.edu)
Carolyn Braddom-Ritzler (carolynritzler@hotmail.com)