Perceptual derailment and confabulation in the Rorschach projective technique: a clinical report

Giovanni Genovese, Claudio Cicciarelli, Amelia Rizzo, Manuela Crucitti


Perceptual derailment and confabulations often appear in a subtle way, being processes addressable to the field of inner world, conditioning the diagnostic process. The present clinical report aims to explore the role of Rorschach projective technique in eliciting processes otherwise unsearchable. Psycho-diagnostics data were compared to other psychometric tests such as the MMPI-2 (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory) and the POMS (Profile of Mood States) at time 0 and time 1 (after six months). Among these, the exploration of the projective process was crucial to understand the patient's mental functioning, as an elective instrument,  thanks to its ambiguous nature, which leads to effectively explore both the inner world and the cognitive processes.


Rorschach; Confabulation; Derailment; Psycho-diagnostics

Full Text:



Altmann, E. M., Trafton, J. G., & Hambrick, D. Z. (2014). Momentary interruptions can derail the train of thought. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 143(1), 215.

Bohm, E. (1958). Rorschach test diagnosis. New York: Grune and Stratton.

Conway, M. A., & Pleydell-Pearce, C. W. (2000). The construction of autobiographical memories in the self-memory system. Psychological review,107(2), 261.

Greene, R. L. (2000). The MMPI-2: An interpretive manual. Allyn & Bacon.

Jaspers, K., Hoenig, J., & Hamilton, M. W. (1997). General psychopathology (Vol. 2). JHU Press.

Löffler-Stastka, H., Szerencsics, M., & Blüml, V. (2009). Dissociation, trauma, affect regulation and personality in patients with a borderline personality organization. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 73(2), 81-98.

May, R. (1996). The meaning of anxiety. WW Norton & Company.

McNair, D. M., Lorr, M., & Droppleman, L. F. (1971). POMS: profile of mood states. Educational and Industrial Testing Service: San Diego.

Monti, M. R. (2005). New interpretative styles: Progress or contamination? Psychoanalysis and phenomenological psychopathology1. The International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 86(4), 1011-1032.

Passi Tognazzo D. (1994). Il metodo Rorschach. Giunti editore.

Richman, N. E., & Sokolove, R. L. (1992). The experience of aloneness, object representation, and evocative memory in borderline and neurotic patients. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 9(1), 77.

Rorschach, H. (1942). Psychodiagnostics. Oxford, England.

Schaffer, J. (2003). Perceptual knowledge derailed. Philosophical Studies,112(1), 31-45.

Shindell, S. (1983). Personality characteristics associated with reported synesthesia. The University of Arizona.

Settineri S., Mento C. (2011). Rorschach et Méthodes projectives: études et recherches clinique. Luglio Editore, Trieste.

Settineri, S., Le Donne, M., Dritto, I. P., Rizzo, A., & Mento, C. (2015). The Rorschach in gynecological suffering: representations and complexes of the VI table. Mediterranean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 3(2).

Mento, C., Galletti, F., Galletti, B., Longo, P., Bitto, E., Rizzo, A., & Settineri, S. (2014). Representation, Projection and Cochlear Implant: a single case study. Mediterranean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 2(1).

Mento, C., Piraino, B., Rizzo, A., Vento, R., Rigoli, L., Moschella, E., ... & Settineri, S. (2015). Affective control and life satisfaction in thalassemics. International Journal of Psychological Research, 8(1), 90-97.

Shapiro, B. E., Alexander, M. P., Gardner, H., & Mercer, B. (1981). Mechanisms of confabulation. Neurology, 31(9), 1070-1070.

Sullivan, H. S. (1948). The meaning of anxiety in psychiatry and in life. Psychiatry, 11(1), 1-13.

Van Os, J., Verdoux, H., Maurice-Tison, S., Gay, B., Liraud, F., Salamon, R., & Bourgeois, M. (1999). Self-reported psychosis-like symptoms and the continuum of psychosis. Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, 34(9), 459-463.



  • There are currently no refbacks.