Analyzing Rorschach: what to look for?

There is a lot to take into account when analyzing your patient’s answers. The color, the shapes, the details he or she chose… they all mean something for you to interpret, so as a therapist, it’s important to really know the test and study it as much as you can.


Different cards, different meanings

The cards aren’t always the same and they have different meanings, as well as they appeal to different parts of the patient’s life and different feelings. You must know exactly what they mean so you can relate it to the way your patient will react and describe said card.

There are 10 cards in the test and you can divide them into four groups.

Dark Grey Cards (cards I, IV, V and VI) – They deal with worries, anguish, and anxiety, and can have different degrees of intensity.

Grey Cards (card VII) – This card is too open, and has a lot of white space. This white space appeals to emptiness or the abyss.

Black, white and red cards (cards II and III) – These cards are able to show you how your patient represents their relationships.

Pastel colors cards (cards VIII, IX and X) – These cards are connected to affection. They appeal to affectivity and, for most of the subjects, they are the most peaceful part of the inquiry phase.


How is the card seen by the patient?

The way a card is seen by the patient is important for an accurate interpretation as well. The way he or she perceives the content is vital for us to understand the relationship between the subject and his environment.

The apprehension mode is, for interpretation effects, divided and cataloged into the following hypothesis.

Global – The patient looks at the inkblots as a single object, a single image.

Major Details – The patient sees different things in the same card, using the major and more obvious inkblots in the card.

Small Details – Patient’s answers refer to more rare details, smaller or stranger in their delimitation.

White spots on the card – In this case, the patient focus not in the inkblot, but rather in the white space inside and around the ink blots.

Oligophrenic details – The projective answer occurs without perceptive basis, which means, there is no articulation relatively to projection and perception. The patient usually picks a very small detail and this is the starting point for all he will say next, ignoring the rest of the inkblot.
This is quite common in cases of schizophrenia.


As a therapist, all this information is fundamental for a correct interpretation of your patient’s projections. This analysis will allow you to have a notion of your patient’s intellectual abilities and the way he or she perceives, contacts with and relates to his or her surroundings, which will, ultimately, determine the relationship the subject has with the environment and its objects.


One thought on “Analyzing Rorschach: what to look for?

  1. Pingback: Analyzing Rorschach: Global Answers – they are not all the same | Psychology in our World

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