Understanding Personality Through Projective Testing provides a concise, nuanced depiction of six core aspects of personality within a psychodynamic/developmental framework. It then portrays how each of these domains can be assessed with four projective methods: the Rorschach, TAT, Sentence Completion and Animal Preference Tests. The strengths and heuristic value of each of the four methods are described individually and then integrated via case examples to provide a rich, comprehensive methodology for understanding personality functioning.
In the current climate of clinical psychology training in which depth approaches to assessment and treatment are being deemphasized or eliminated (e.g., American Psychological Association Division 12 Presidential Task Force, 1999) in favor of symptom-focused methods, Tuber’s Understanding Personality Through Projective Testing is a welcome and refreshing antidote. Tuber’s volume follows in the tradition of classics on psychoanalytic psychological assessment such as Rapaport, Gill, and Schafer (1968); Schafer (1954); Allison, Blatt, and Zimet (1968); and Lerner (1998). As important and relevant as those texts continue to be, Tuber communicates his ideas and methods in a manner that is more accessible to contemporary graduate students, pre- and postdoctoral trainees, and early career psychologists who may have had less immersion in psychoanalytic theory than their predecessors in past decades. An experienced clinician, teacher, and supervisor, Tuber strives to write as if the reader is 'sitting in my classroom, sharing the dialogue with me' (p. ix), and he is largely successful. ... Tuber has made a meaningful and accessible contribution to the psychological testing literature at a point in time when useful and sophisticated psychoanalytic theory-driven approaches are at risk of being lost (Lerner, 2007). Tuber’s conversational style in communicating complex theoretical and technical ideas exudes passion for psychoanalytic theory and assessment, a generative spirit, and empathy for his patients, students, and readers. Tuber’s book offers hope that future generations of psychologists will appreciate the immense value in this way of thinking and working. Understanding Personality Through Projective Testing would be a highly worthwhile addition to reading lists in assessment seminars for advanced graduate students, interns, and postdoctoral fellows. The value of this book will be further enhanced by classroom time devoted to the thinking along with Tuber in his process of drawing inferences from the data in his detailed case illustrations.
Steven Tuber, PhD, ABPP, is professor of psychology and director of clinical training in the doctoral program in clinical psychology of the City University of New York at City College. He is the author of the critically acclaimed books Attachment, Play & Authenticity: A Winnicott Primer, and Starting Treatment with Children and Adolescents: A Process-Oriented Guide for Therapists (with Jane Caflisch) as well as over one hundred papers on the interplay between assessment and treatment in children, adolescents, and adults.