Decoding tat 6 tat interpretation based on bellak

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8. Aug 2019

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Decoding tat 6 tat interpretation based on bellak

  1. Compiled by Col Mukteshwar Prasad(Retd), Mtech(IITD),CE(I),FIE(I),FIETE,FISLE,FInstOD,AMCSI Contact -9007224278, e-mail – for book ”Decoding Services Selection Board” and SSB guidance and training at Shivnandani Edu and Defence Academy Decoding TAT 6 Administration and Interpretation of the TAT – Based on Bellak et al Ref-Handbook of Psychological Assessment Chapter 11 by Groth and Marnat
  2. Introduction  In normal clinical TAT testing 8-12 cards are generally used .Cards are gender specific and generally following combination of cards are recommended to yield richest story  Female: 1, 2, 3BM, 4, 6GF, 7GF, 8BM, 12M, 13MF and 16  Male: 1, 2, 3BM, 4, 6BM, 7BM, 8BM,12M, 13MF, and 16  Instructions: Instructions for adults are: (Murray, 1943)  “I am going to show you some pictures, one at a time, and your task will be to make up a story for each card. In your story, be sure to tell what has led up to the event shown in the picture, describe what is happening at the moment, what the characters are feeling and thinking, and then give the outcome. Tell a complete story with a beginning, middle,and end. Do you understand? I will write your stories verbatim as you tell them. Here’s the first card.”  These instructions can be modified for children or for adults with limited education/intelligence:  “I am going to show you some pictures, and I would like you to tell me a story for each one. In your story, please tell: What is happening in the picture? What happened before? What are people thinking and how are they feeling? How does it turn out in the end? So, I’d like you to tell a whole story with a beginning, middle,
  3. Introduction  It is important that the examinee understands that they are to tell a story and not merely describe the pictures. Stories should contain these four elements:  1. Current situation (What’s going on now in the picture?)  2. Thoughts and feelings of the characters. (What are they thinking/feeling?)  3. Preceding events (What happened before? What led up to this current situation?)  4. Outcome (How does the story end?)  In SSB many sets of 11 cards are available with 12th being blank which are selected randomly  TAT Interpretation  Interpretation: There are no formal, normative standards for the TAT.  General  The simplest procedure for studying TAT responses is the inspection technique.  Most clinicians interpret the TAT stories informally; repetitive patterns or themes become apparent by reading through a subject's stories.  It is useful to know the typical themes and stories that are elicited by each of the
  4. Introduction  General…..background information.  Bellak (1997) says "A repetitive pattern is the best assurance that one does not deal with an artifact".  In interpretation of the TAT is that the  Pictures are best seen psychologically as a series of social situations and interpersonal relations. Or  All characters in the stories are projected aspects of the self, keeping in mind that they may represent  The ideal self,  The real self,  The feared self, etc.
  5. stories  1. Following the task directions (In SSB story in ½ page in 4 minutes)  2. Card/Stimulus pull:  Manifest content (Descriptive)  Latent content (Interpretive)  3. Initial reactions to cards/stimulus and to themes presented  4. Personality Conflicts: Interpersonal, Intrapersonal  5. Themes, plots introduced  6. Characters  7. Supportive figures – who is brought in to story?  8. Affect  9. Action  10. Final outcome or resolution  11. Intercard/Inter Story relationship  12. Ego functions - defenses  13. Language usage
  6. stories  14. Identification issues:  Usually identify with same gender; if not, o May indicate gender identity issues or o May indicate vulnerability and need to project onto gender different person in order to distance the issue from self  15. Indicators for therapeutic progress and outcome(In SSB it simply implies presence or absence of Personality traits as these tests are not Diognostic)  16. Personality structural analysis: id, ego, superego  17. Psycho-sexual development stage: oral, anal, phallic, latency, genital
  7. Aalyzing the 10 variables of Bellak's scoring system  1. The Main Theme  1. Descriptive Level: State the summarized meaning of the story, a finding of the common trend restated in an abbreviated form and simple words  2. Interpretive Level: State the general meaning of the story.  3. Diagnostic Level: State possibly expressed psychological problems.  4. Symbolic Level: State possible symbols with psychological meanings.  5. Elaborative Level: State any free associations to story elements. ~  2. The Main Hero  3. Main Needs and Drives of Hero  4. Conception of the Environment (World)  5. Figures Seen as.......  6. Significant Conflicts  7. Nature of Anxieties  8. Main Defenses against Conflicts and Fears  9. Adequacy of Superego as Manifested by "Punishment" for "Crime”
  8. Aalyzing the 10 variables of Bellak's scoring system  10. Integration of the Ego  I. Reality Testing  II. Judgment  III. Sense of Reality of the World and the Self  IV. Regulation and Control of Drives, Affects, and Impulses  V. Object Relations  VI. Thought Processes  VII. ARISE: Adaptive Regression in the Service of the Ego  VIII. Defensive Functioning  IX. Stimulus Barrier  X. Autonomous Functioning  XI. Synthetic-Integration Functioning  XII. Mastery-Competence
  9. 1. Main Theme  Restate the essential elements of the story.  One or more themes of story  Main theme based on story  Interpretive and diagnostic level of stories  Extraction of essence of what has been described in story  2. Main Hero/ Heroine  The hero/ heroine is usually the person who is most frequently referred to in the story and subject identifies with the Hero  The story character who is most similar to the subject in terms of  Age,  Sex, and  Other characteristics  In certain rare cases, there may be one or more heroes/ heroines.  In case of uncertainties to check who is the Hero  Concentrate on his/her(Rather than secondary character)  Feelings,
  10. 2. Main Hero/ Heroine  The hero/ heroine is usually the person who is most frequently referred to in the story and subject identifies with the Hero  The story character who is most similar to the subject in terms of  Age,  Sex, and  Other characteristics  In certain rare cases, there may be one or more heroes/ heroines.  In case of uncertainties to check who is the Hero  Concentrate on his/her(Rather than secondary character)  Feelings,  Beliefs, and  Behaviors  Rate the hero in terms of  Interests, Traits, Abilities, Adequacy ,and  Body image .  The adequacy of the hero/ heroine refers to an ability to complete tasks in acceptable manner
  11. 2. Main Hero/ Heroine….  The adequacy of the hero/ heroine refers to an ability to complete tasks in acceptable manner  Socially,  Emotionally,  Morally, and/or  Intellectually  This level of adequacy is directly related to the ego strength of the hero/ heroine—or, more inferentially, of the subject.  The body image refers to the style and qualities with which the body or body representation is depicted.  Direct descriptions of the body are usually easy to interpret but a more indirect representation, such as certain symbolical features of the violin in TAT Picture1, might also be included.
  12. 3. Main Needs and Drives of the Hero/ Heroine  The behavioral needs are rated in the story refer to the most basic needs expressed in the client’s story productions (i.e., affection, aggression, achievement).  The descriptions of these needs are fantasy productions by the client and might reflect actual conscious needs as well as more disguised latent needs.  Tester identifies clearest and strongest of these needs and makes inferences about the actual meaning of these needs for the client.  For example, extreme nurturance expressed in the stories might indicate that the client demands nurturance from others , or, conversely, that this is a frequent need that he or she expresses.  Another example might be extreme avoidance of aggression, which could suggest that the client has a high level of underlying aggression that is being denied.  Tester also notes  Any figures, objects , or circumstances that are introduced
  13. 3. Main Needs and Drives of the Hero/ Heroine…  Particularly noteworthy omissions include these:  No mention of the rifle in Picture 8BM,  The gun / keys in Picture 3BM, or  The seminude in the background of Picture 4, or  No sexual references to Picture 13MF.  Similarly in SSB pictures tend to be vague many times and inclusion and exclusion are noted for inference  The implications of these inclusions/omissions should also be noted.  For example,  The inclusion of a relatively large number of  Weapons-High Need for aggression  Food-High Need for Nurturance  Money- financial success.  The omission of important objects in the story productions might suggest some areas of repression, denial, or anxiety associated with the omitted objects.
  14. 4. Conception of the Environment (World)  Tester summarizes the most important and strongest conceptions of the person’s environment by noting the number and strength of descriptive words such as  Hostile,  Dangerous ,or  Nurturing.  The summaries of conceptions of the world might include the overall meaning for the hero/ heroine—for example,  The environment is overly demanding,  A wealth of opportunities, or  Some-thing to be exploited and used.
  15. 5. Figures Seen as . .  One of the main characteristics of the TAT stories is that they can be seen as  “apperceptive distortions of the social relationships and the dynamic factors basic to them”(Bellak, 1993, p. 92).  Thus, one of the cornerstones of TAT interpretation is under- standing how the client views other persons, as represented in the story productions.  This category attempts to elaborate on this by rating the hero/ heroine’s attitudes and behaviors  Toward parental,  Contemporary(age-related peers), and  Junior figures.  For example, the level of aggressiveness of persons of the same gender might be noted, along with the response(s) of the hero/ heroine
  16. 6. Significant Conflicts.  The major conflicts within the hero/ heroine should be noted by reviewing the client’s current feelings and behaviors and assessing how congruent these are.  In particular,Tester should note any contrast between the actual feelings/ behaviors and how the client should feel.  For example, he or she might be trying to accomplish two incongruous goals such  As need for achievement versus need for pleasure, or  Need for hostility versus need for affiliation.  Other important conflicts might be between  Reality and fantasy, or  Aggression and compliance.
  17. 7. Nature of Anxieties  In addition to significant conflicts, Tester should rate the nature and strength(✓,✓✓,✓✓✓) of the hero/ heroine’s anxieties in terms of  Fear of physical harm and /or punishment,  Disapproval,  Lack or loss of love,  Illness or injury,  Being deserted,  Deprived ,  Overpowered and helpless,  Devoured (Eat or read qickly and hungrly),or other.
  18. 8.Main Defenses against Conflicts and Fears  The Tester rates the presence and strength of defenses against anxieties and conflicts.  This helps to provide a description of the person’s character structure.  The strength of the defenses can be assessed by noting their frequency both within each story and among the different stories.  For example,  Intellectualization occurring in six of the stories suggests a rigid and excessive defensive style.  In contrast, the use of several different types of defenses suggests that the client has a much greater degree of variety and flexibility.  One option might be to formally score for(using Cramer’s (1996) Defense Mechanisms Manual.)  Denial,  Projection , and  Identification
  19. 9. Adequacy of Superego as Manifested by“ Punishment ” for “ Crime ”  Tester may also rate the relative degree of appropriateness, severity, consistency, and extent of delay of any consequences for potentially punishable behavior .  Particular note should be made of the relative strength and type of punishment compared to the seriousness of the “crime.”  For example, a harsh superego would be suggested when minor infractions by story characters result in imprisonment or even death.  In contrast, a poorly developed superego would be suggested if few or no consequences occurred for a moderate or severe infraction.  A section is also included for noting any relevant behavioral observations of the client, such as stammering or blushing , shyness which could suggest an overly harsh superego.
  20. 10. Integration of the Ego  In general, the degree of ego integration is indicated by the quality with which the hero/ heroine mediates between different conflicts.  This is typically reflected in the effectiveness with which the main character can use interpersonal skills.  Specific observations can be made regarding the adequacy, quality, effectiveness, flexibility, and style of problem solving.  The overall quality ( bizarre, complete, original, etc.) of the thought processes involved should also be rated.  Bellak provides a further unnumbered category for rating the client’s intelligence.  The traditional classifications of very superior, superior, high average, and so on, are used.  An additional section allows an overall rating of the client’s level of maturity .  In addition to the more traditional TAT areas described, Bellak and Abrams (1997)have provided scales for rating a client’s 12 ego functions  These are based on both the total TAT stories the client has
  21. Integration of the Ego: Assessment of adaptive capacity (based on Bellak)/12 EGO FUNCTION  I. Reality Testing  a. Distinction between inner and outer stimuli.  b. Accuracy of perception (includes orientation to time and place and interpretation of external events).  c. Accuracy of inner reality testing (psychological mindedness and awareness of inner states).  II. Judgment  a. Awareness of likely consequences of intended behavior (anticipated probable dangers, legal culpabilities, social censure, disapproval, or inappropriateness).  b. Extent to which manifest behavior reflects the awareness of these likely consequences.  III. Sense of Reality of the World and the Self  a. The extent to which external events are experienced as real and as being embedded in a familiar context (degree of de realization, deja-vu, trance like states).  b. The extent to which the body (or parts of it) and its functioning and
  22. Integration of the Ego: Assessment of adaptive capacity (based on Bellak)  III. Sense of Reality of the World and the Self…..b….. the individual.  c. The degree to which the person has developed individuality, uniqueness , and a sense of self and self-esteem.  d. The degree to which the person's self-representations are separated from his or her object representation.  IV. Regulation and Control of Drives, Affects, and Impulses  a. The directness of impulse expression (ranging from primitive acting out through neurotic acting out to relatively indirect forms of behavioral expression).  b. The effectiveness of delay and control, the degree of frustration tolerance, and the extent to which drive derivatives are channeled through ideation, effective expression, and manifest behavior  V. Object (or Interpersonal) Relations  a. The degree and kind of relatedness to others and investment in them (taking account of withdrawal trends, narcissistic self-concern , narcissistic object choice or mutuality).  b. The extent to which present relationships are adaptively or mal
  23. Integration of the Ego: Assessment of adaptive capacity (based on Bellak)  V. Object (or Interpersonal) Relations…. b. … past immature aims.  c. The degree to which the person perceives others as separate entities rather than as extensions of himself or herself.  d. The extent to which he or she can maintain object constancy (sustain relationships over long periods of time and tolerate both the physical absence of the object and frustration, anxiety, and hostility related to the object).  VI. Thought Processes  a. The adequacy of processes that adaptively guide and sustain thought (attention, concentration, anticipation, concept formation, memory , language)  b. The relative primary-secondary process influences on thought (extent to which thinking is unrealistic, illogical, and/or loose).  VII. ARISE: Adaptive Regression in the Service of the Ego  a. First phase of an oscillating process: relation of perceptual and conceptual acuity (another ego controls) with a concomitant increase in awareness of previously preconscious and unconscious contents.
  24. Integration of the Ego: Assessment of adaptive capacity (based on Bellak)  VIII. Defensive Functioning  a. Degree to which defensive components adaptively or mal adaptively affect ideation and behavior.  b. Extent to which these defenses have succeeded or failed (degree of emergence of anxiety, depression, and/or other dysphoric (accompanied depression, anxiety, or agitation.) affects , indicating weakness of defensive operations).  IX. Stimulus Barrier  a. Threshold for, sensitivity to, or awareness of stimuli impinging upon various sensory modalities (primarily external, but including pain).  b. Nature of response to various levels of sensory stimulation in terms of the extent of disorganization, avoidance, withdrawal, or active coping mechanisms employed to deal with them.
  25. Integration of the Ego: Assessment of adaptive capacity (based on Bellak)  X. Autonomous Functioning  a. Degree of freedom from impairment of apparatuses of primary autonomy (functional disturbances of sight, hearing, intention, language, memory , learning, or motor function).  b. Degree of or freedom from impairment of secondary autonomy (disturbances in habit patterns, learned complex skills, work routines , hobbies, and interests).  XI. Synthetic-Integration Functioning  a. Degree of reconciliation or integration of discrepancies or potentially contradictory attitudes, values, affects, behavior, and self representations.  b. Degree of active relating together and integrating of psychic and behavioral events, whether contradictory or not.  XII. Mastery-Competence  a. Competence, the person's performance in relation to his existing capacity to interact with and master his environment.  b. Sense of competence, the person's expectation of success, or their