Integration Of Projective Techniques in the Clinical Case Study
It is regrettable that as clinical psychologists, so many of us acquire consummate skill in detecting the fine points of interpretation of psychological tests, reading between every line in an interview, and splitting every diagnostic hair without having any clear guidelines as to what to do with this information and what the purpose of the evaluation should really be. As scientist-clinicians, we have a nagging curiosity which generates an interest in doing the case study for its own sake, because we hope that it will help us to gain a broader and deeper understanding of any given personality and build up our apperceptive reservoir. However, in looking at the matter somewhat more practically, we see that there are really three parties involved in the clinical case study whose needs must be considered and somewhat met if the whole project is to be worthwhile. These are the examiner, the patient, and the reader of the clinical case study. Each one of these has a stake in the enterprise although each may perceive his interests in a somewhat different manner. In addition to his rational goals, the examiner, for instance, may want to use the clinical case study as a way of communicating a certain impression to the reader: he might like the reader to consider him erudite, sophisticated, agreeable, gregarious, or intellectually stimulating. It may be that the clinical case study will serve as a political instrument, designed to sell a particular point of view to anyone who may come across it. It is possible that interprofessional or intraprofessional relationships which are currently tense will be attacked indirectly through a description of certain kinds of causality and the prediction of certain outcomes on the basis of the case study.
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