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Sandler, J. (1955). Psychoanalytic Interpretation in Rorschach Testing: By Roy Schafer. (New York: Grune & Stratton, 1954. Pp. 446. $8.75.). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 36:418-419.

(1955). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 36:418-419

Psychoanalytic Interpretation in Rorschach Testing: By Roy Schafer. (New York: Grune & Stratton, 1954. Pp. 446. $8.75.)

Review by:
Joseph Sandler

The Rorschach Test has held pride of place among psychological tests for many years, and it is only recently that informed and well-based criticism of it has appeared in psychological journals. As it is conventionally used its validity is, to say the least, doubtful. It seems probable that the next few years will see a strong swing away from the test, and many clinical psychologists will be in the uncomfortable position of having to seek other activities with which to busy themselves. It is just at this point that Schafer's book appears—perhaps the best book on the test since Rorschach's own.

The factors which have perpetuated the use of the Rorschach test are extremely complex. Its objective usefulness is confined to little more than some cases of suspected organic defect or borderline schizophrenia (and it seems likely that more specialized tests will be devised for these states), but its main function has been to provide a mechanism of defence for the lay psychologist to cope with the anxieties aroused in him by patients and by problems of prestige in relation to his medically-qualified colleagues. It has acted as a magical machine which yields all the answers. Unfortunately the situation in psychiatry is such that there is for the most part no real check on the truth of the conclusions drawn from the test, and it is a sad fact that most Rorschach personality pictures would be applicable to a great variety of patients; and are indeed welcomed by many of the psychiatrists who ask for the test to be made, as apt and informative descriptions.

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