Hi and welcome to The Blot Spot! We’re so glad you’re here.7 min read
…A little bit about us
The Blot Spot is an innovative way to learn the Rorschach. It’s a community where you can master the Rorschach through one-of-a-kind, online-based training, which serves as a convenient alternative to self-directed learning and traditional conferences. Catered to all levels of Rorschach learners, from to beginners to advanced practitioners, Blot Spot members can learn the Comprehensive System, the R-PAS, the HERM or any combination of system! The Blot Spot’s creator, Dr. Jeremy Morris, recognized that the Rorschach is a dying art that is slowly fading out of doctoral education. So, through this training platform, it’s his hope to keep the Rorschach alive and well, creating a community of likeminded professionals who are eager to sink their teeth into learning more about what the Rorschach has to offer.
…A little bit about me
Hi! I’m Erika, and I’m currently working on my doctoral internship under Dr. Morris for my PhD in Counseling Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. It is my hope that through this blog, you can come alongside me on my journey of learning the Rorschach, through the eyes of a newbie Rorschacher. If you’re brand-spanking new to the Rorschach, I’ve been right where you are now – less than a year ago! I hope to lend some insight into what it’s been like for me to learn the Rorschach, my approach to training, share my fears (and triumphs!), and explore all the questions that may feel “stupid” to ask.
I was first introduced to projective testing during my master’s degree. It was a quick and dirty class on all kinds of projectives, but our professor was sure to be clear that we would not be able to be trained on the Rorschach due to limited time and its intense learning curve. Okay professor, duly noted. However, being the mildly defiant person I am, I wasn’t satisfied with being told “no” and was driven to learn more about it.
Fast forwarding to my doctoral program, I learned that they discontinued teaching the Rorschach as part of their testing suite. Despite being thwarted again, I was still interested. After all… this is THE test that people think of when they think of psychological testing, right? I was fascinated by the Rorschach, and also a little skeptical. If all kinds of graduate programs are discontinuing training in this test, is it really worth anything?
However, during a practicum placement at a VA hospital, my direct supervisor told me that she liked to use the Rorschach with some of her veterans. Knowing the VA system, I was honestly shocked that the Rorschach was a test that could be used in such a sterile, standardized, and manualized environment. Intrigued, I asked her for more information about the use of the Rorschach in her practice. Soon, a significant part of my training under her included a primer in the Rorschach, which was arguably a lot of me doing a self-guided fumbling through the Rorschach manual and playing with the cards. I had no idea what I was doing, but I loved learning the bits that I was able to gather from my explorations.
So, after scouring the internet, local universities and colleges, and picking the brains of psychologists in the area, I was directed to learn the Rorschach Performance Assessment System (R-PAS) through an intensive, 4-day training in Toledo, Ohio. While the R-PAS training was excellent, I learned more than my brain could handle each day. I knew that there was no way I would be able to maintain the knowledge that I was learning. As one of the few students at the training, I was surrounded by professionals who had been administering the Rorschach for decades. It was hard to find peers to whom I could turn who were also struggling with basic concepts (How do I hold the cards again? Is it weird to put them in my lap? Why can’t I remember what words to clarify?) The professionals with whom I interacted were incredibly kind (except for the know-it-all guy behind me who kept questioning our presenters) but still, I didn’t want to feel like I was hindering their experience by asking basic questions… Additionally, my pride got in the way, and I didn’t want to look like an idiot by asking incredibly basic questions. That’s why training with Dr. Morris has been so essential to my learning and growth in the Rorschach. He taught me that the blots are messy… and that I can be, too.
After going through an intensive Rorschach boot camp directed by Dr. Morris, within my first two weeks of internship, I was assigned to give my first Rorschach to an actual patient. A real living, breathing patient. Naturally, I was a whole ball of anxiety. Still trying to manage my supervisors’ opinions of me and to ensure them that I am a competent psychologist-in-training (imposter syndrome, amirite?), I put on a brave face… but I was still subtlety asking questions with the undertones of, “Are you sure you want me to do this?”, “Are you sure, sure? I mean I can do a lot of things, but this is super new to me so… aren’t you worried I’m going to screw this up?” However, they weren’t worried. And I went and gave it and, in fact, I didn’t screw it up. Of course, there were things I should have done differently, but through administering my first Rorschach to my first patient, I was able to help change the hospital-hewn narrative that this patient was “just borderline” and “just attention seeking” to “this patient is exceedingly depressed… and exceedingly dependent.” It was an incredibly powerful experience.
This leads us to today. I’m currently half-way through my internship where the Rorschach is an integral part of our training each week. Each assessment battery we complete has a Rorschach component to it, which was initially terrifying. And, truly, is still a little intimidating. Being brand new to administering the Rorschach as of seven-ish months ago, I get a little anxious each time before I give it. Each Rorschach that I’ve given has been different. Each time I leave the testing room I think about the different challenges that each patient provided me and ways I could do it better next time. Because there are always ways to do it better the next time… there are always mistakes. Just like I’m able to be messy, giving the Rorschach can be messy, too!
In all, what has been most poignant about learning the Rorschach with Dr. Morris has been the faith that he places in me… which ultimately reflects the faith that he has in his Rorschach training. He knows that I came into my internship with limited experience giving the Rorschach, with only the brief primers I received in grad school and the whirlwind training that I had only a few months ago. His faith in me and the faith that he has in his training has helped give me the confidence I need to go and administer the Rorschach with *careful* abandon, knowing that each time I give it, I’m nearer to understanding each person I treat just that much more deeply.
We hope that you find the same sense of confidence through your training here on The Blot Spot. And we hope that you learn to administer the Rorschach to your patients with the same *careful* abandon that I have found under the tutelage of Dr. Morris and other members in The Blot Spot community.
If you’re reading this, you belong here. We’re excited you came, and we hope you stay awhile.