The psychological assessment of object representation.J Pers Assess. 1983 Feb; 47(1):7-28.JP
In 1976, Blatt, Brenneis, Schimek, and Glick developed a comprehensive scale for assessing the organization and content of the "concept of the object" in Rorschach responses. Utilizing developmental theory, they developed procedures for assessing the representation of human figures on the Rorschach in terms of the degree of differentiation, articulation, and integration. This analysis of Rorschach responses has proven to be of considerable value in clinical research and has provided empirical data for the study of severe psychopathology. The present paper considers the clinical utility of this conceptual scheme. Five prototypic patients, each representing a particular diagnostic category, were selected for study on the basis of clinical case records. The object representations of the five cases are presented and analyzed in detail, and conclusions are drawn about possible configurations of object representations in different forms of psychopathology. The value of a systematic assessment of object representations for differential diagnosis as well as for the study of change in the psychotherapeutic process is considered. This approach to Rorschach interpretation represents an integration of object relations theory into Rorschach methodology. These new concepts of test assessment and interpretation offer the promise of providing a methodological framework and theoretical foundation for further innovative use of the Rorschach and other projective procedures.