Expressions and Complexities of Depression
On Projective Tests
Jim Kleiger, Psy.D, Bethesda, MD, USA – Discussant
Advances in biopsychiatry and cognitive neuroscience have transformed the face of depression in ways both helpful and limiting. Once considered a symptom of loss, a marker of developmental capacity, or byproducts of an embattled self or retroflected aggression, contemporary views of depression are often narrow – confined to symptoms and regarded solely as illness states or points on a spectrum of mood disorders.
Projective methods provide ways to look beyond the symptoms and understand the myriad meanings of depression, its underpinnings, phenomenology, and treatment implications. Presenters will illustrate the role of projective methods in illuminating the complexities of depression in various diagnostic contexts and treatment settings.
Lecturers and Presentations
A History of Depression on the Rorschach
Marek Macák, Prague, Czech Republic
Across the history of our field, various authors have devised many ways of capturing depression in Rorschach, stressing both different aspects of the patients’ production and using different understandings of the depressive experience. This landscape of ideas and practices can enrich and contextualise our contemporary understanding and practice. The historical presentation will be framed by metatheoretical reflection on the structure of interpretive processes involved in assessment.
Rebel depression: The case for manic depressive personalities
Odile Husain, Ph.D, Montreal, Canada
In our practice, both public and private, we have often met patients who spend years battling recurring depression or dysphoria without a satisfying response to treatment. This led our team to hypothesize the existence of a broad spectrum of manic depressive functioning, marked by specific processes, themes and forms of speech on the Rorschach and the TAT. The participants will be introduced to these markers and will be able to analyze a case of depression using these references.
The need to feel alive – different faces of depression in young offenders
Cecilia Kallenberg, Psy.D and Malin Holm, Psy.D, Stockholm, Sweden
Depressive states are common in young offenders and important to recognize, to fully understand what may drive violent, anti-social behaviors. Performance tests are indispensable as depressive feelings are often disguised and denied. We develop concepts around depression and violence and also touch upon the psychology of “toxic masculinity”.
Our methodological framework is multi-method assessment with an extra twist as we in this case adopt blind interpretation of the Wartegg, before integrating the results with other test data.