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Rorschach Assessment of Psychotic Phenomena: Clinical, Conceptual, and Empirical Developments
Kleiger, James H.
Routledge / The Analytic Press / Softcover / 2017-02-01 / 0415837685
Psychological Testing
reg price: $82.50 our price: $ 74.25 (may be subject to change)
320 pages
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Rorschach Assessment of Psychotic Phenomena takes the reader beyond where James Kleiger’s original work, Disordered Thinking and the Rorschach, left off. This new book offers readers a number of conceptual bridges between Rorschach characteristics commonly associated with psychotic phenomena and a range of psychological, neurocognitive, and psychoanalytic constructs that help psychologists move beyond static, test-bound interpretations of scores and indices.

Beginning with a broad-based understanding of disordered thinking and reality testing, Kleiger provides an updated review of the contributions of past Rorschach luminaries and contemporary figures who have helped make the Rorschach a robust tool for assessing aspects of psychotic-level experience. The contributions of major figures are highlighted and assessed in terms of their empirical, conceptual, and practical implications. In addition to providing a balanced, respectful review of each of these leading figures and the systems they developed, Kleiger offers a new way of organizing and conceptualizing what is currently understood about Rorschach scoring variables pertaining to psychotic phenomena. Kleiger’s aim is to help Rorschach practitioners not only consolidate their grasp of key scoring variables and what each means about an individual’s thought processes and internal experiences, but also expand their clinical understanding of the psychotic phenomena being assessed. He includes a wide range of psychotic phenomena, like negative symptoms, cognitive impairment, magical thinking, and impairment of insight, all of which are subjects of diagnostic interest when using the Rorschach with psychotically prone individuals.

The final section on psychopathology looks at how the Rorschach is useful in differential diagnosis of primary psychoses and those conditions that may include secondary psychotic phenomena. In step with contemporary DSM-5 standards, Kleiger organizes his discussion of severe psychopathology in a manner consistent with how psychotic phenomena are currently understood in the clinical and scientific literature. In addition to reviewing key clinical characteristics of these conditions, along with Rorschach contributions to the diagnosis of these disorders, he also focuses his lens on the Rorschach assessment of malingered psychosis and psychotic phenomena in children and adolescents.

Written with the same well-researched attention to detail and integrative style as his earlier work, Rorschach Assessment of Psychotic Phenomena will prove invaluable to clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, and psychoanalysts interested in understanding and assessing psychosis.


"Dr Kleiger´s book is a welcome addition for clinicians and researchers working in the era of diagnosing psychoses. This book is a masterpiece, showing diligently the historical roots of classifying, analyzing and helping patients with different kinds of thought disorders. Dr Kleiger avoids stopping merely on the surface level of Rorschach and dives deep for the underpinnings of disordered thinking, doing so with respect and warmth towards patient´s difficulties. Reading the book is a congenial experience I hope many professionals will share with me."-Pekka Koistinen, Ph.D.,University of Oulu, Finland.

"In this timely book on psychosis, Kleiger masterfully reviews complex topics discussed in diverse bodies of literature and integrates them in a clear, nuanced, and highly accessible manner. Every clinician and student who conducts psychological assessments, and every researcher who studies psychosis, should not only read this book but have a copy on their bookshelves for subsequent consultation. This book is not just about the Rorschach, the premiere psychological test for assessing psychosis—Kleiger provides a sophisticated and illuminating discussion of psychosis that every mental health professional and researcher should read. I have yearned for a resource like this, and Kleiger hits it out of the park."-Joni L Mihura, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Toledo, co-developer of the Rorschach Performance Assessment System (R-PAS).

"This volume, by the acknowledged leading expert in Rorschach assessment of psychosis, is a "must-have" for any clinician or researcher in assessment. The book extends Kleiger's classic Disordered Thinking and the Rorschach by focusing on several thorny new issues as well as bringing it up to date with a consideration of newer Rorschach systems."-Bruce Smith, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, University of California, Berkeley; Past President, International Society for Rorschach and Projective Methods.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: Psychotic Phenomena: Toward a Conceptual Understanding of Reality Testing and Disordered Thinking

Chapter 2: Assessing Disordered Thinking and Psychotic Phenomena


Chapter 3: Herman Rorschach’s Experiment

Chapter 4: Contributions of Rapaport and Holt

Chapter 5: The Thought Disorder Index

Chapter 6: The Comprehensive System and Rorschach Performance Assessment System

Chapter 7: Alternative Rorschach Approaches for Assessing Disordered Thinking

Chapter 8: Integrated Model of Rorschach Signs of Disordered Thinking


Chapter 9: Disorganization: Problems in Focusing, Filtering, and Language Usage

Chapter 10: Illogicality: Problems in Reasoning and Logic

Chapter 11: Impoverishment in Thinking and Language

Chapter 12: Awareness of Perceptual and Thinking Errors


Chapter 13: Primary Psychoses and the Rorschach

Chapter 14: Secondary Psychotic Phenomena and the Rorschach

Chapter 15: Malingered Psychosis and Disordered Thinking

Chapter 16: Rorschach Indications of Psychotic Phenomena in Children and Adolescents


About the Author

James H. Kleiger is a psychologist-psychoanalyst in private practice in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a Fellow in the Society for Personality Assessment and Board Certified in Clinical and Personality Assessment Psychology. Kleiger has written Disordered Thinking and the Rorschach (1999) and was senior author of Assessing Psychosis: A Clinician’s Guide (2015), both by Routledge.

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