Thematic Apperception Test: an original proposal for interaction analysis

Doriana Dipaola, Patrizia Meneghelli, Monica Prastaro, Daniela Morano


The TAT as projective technique gives the opportunity to explore the inner world and the intra-psychic functioning, as well as the objectual representations and the prevailing thinking processes. Our hypothesis is that the TAT could also be deployed as a valid tool in the analysis of inter-personal functioning, specifically within the couple. From this assumption originates our proposal for an original methodology of TAT deployment and reading, which integrates the classical individual TAT methodology with the Common Rorschach method suggested by Willi. The goal is to experiment a parallel utilisation of the test that could contribute to the understanding of personalities and of how these intertwine in couple interaction. In the relationship with the partner, the personality takes new shapes, given personality and character traits are strengthened, while others lose importance, (Theodore Lidz, in Willi, 1990). The couple TAT presupposes a sequence of pictures proposed following procedures identical to the Common Rorschach ones to the single individuals at first and then to the couple. From the initial individual task follows the one of building a commonly shared history starting from the stimulus. The suggested methodology shall be exemplified through the presentation of clinical cases belonging to the research sample. The comprehension of the inter-personal dynamic, in a common task, could allow to explore the ways in which conflict expresses itself, the roles and prospects for collaboration, the generativityof the couple and the management of affects and anxieties in the interaction and could be successfully deployed as a tool in the context of couple counselling.


Couple Thematic Apperception Test; Couple interaction; Original methodology

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