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Tuber, S. (2004). Projective Testing as a Heuristic “Snapshot” of Themes in Child and Adult Psychoanalysis: The Case of Lisa. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 3(4):486-508.

(2004). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 3(4):486-508

Projective Testing as a Heuristic “Snapshot” of Themes in Child and Adult Psychoanalysis: The Case of Lisa

Steve Tuber, Ph.D., ABPP

This article is an attempt to link images and themes from the Children's Apperception Test protocol of a child at age eight to the vicissitudes of her analytic treatment as both a child and an adult. Striking consistencies were found between the object representational paradigms depicted in the test protocol and both later interpersonal interactions of the patient in her world and key transferential enactments within her treatments as a child and an adult. Lapses in inner coherence in the face of strong affect typify both her protocol and her experience of treatment and later life. These consistencies raise interesting questions regarding the nature of change over time in treatment. They speak to the manner in which adaptive change can occur while core representational paradigms retain earlier, less adaptive flavorings. It is argued that projective test data, with its capacity to speak to the phenomenology of actual experience, should be relied on as a useful tool in psychotherapy outcome research.

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