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Schafer, R. (1949). Projective Methods: By Lawrence K. Frank. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1948. 86 pp.. Psychoanal Q., 18:247-249.

(1949). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 18:247-249

Projective Methods: By Lawrence K. Frank. Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, 1948. 86 pp.

Review by:
Roy Schafer

This book is written on a consistently abstract level. It does not present specific principles of interpretation for specific projective techniques; its purpose is to formulate the theoretical position regarding personality that is required by contemporary scientific theory and is necessary for the effective use of projective techniques. The emphasis throughout is on process, organization, and the individual; the attack is directed against the study of static end products and isolated traits by means of purely statistical, group- or norm-oriented research.

To provide a psychological rationale for projective techniques, Frank hammers away at two basic propositions: the 'psychocultural approach' and the 'principle of biological relativity'. The psychocultural approach 'conceives of the individual personality as a dynamic process whereby the individual creates, maintains and defends his "private world". This private world arises from the individual's taking over and utilizing all the patterns of our cultural traditions, but doing so in his own peculiar idiomatic way, with the feelings that his experiences in childhood have established as his susceptibilities and his immunities and persistent affective reactions' (p. 38). 'Individual personalities, idiomatically using the prescribed social and cultural patterns, create the social and cultural space-time' (p. 41). 'The personality process involves a selective awareness of all situations, as patterned by the prior experience of the individual who has been sensitized or rendered more or less anesthetic, so that he sees, hears and otherwise perceives what has become relevant and meaningful to him and ignores or rejects all else.

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