Rethinking Rorschach interpretation: an exploration of resilient black South African adolescents' personal constructions
Odendaal, Isabel E.
Theron, Linda C.
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We explore Exner's Rorschach Comprehensive System as a schema-processing task to understand how six Black1 South African adolescents' personal constructions informed their transactional resilience. Transactional resilience is conceptualised as a process of meaning-making of present and past experiences to knit a healthy sense of self. We first provide a framework for a culturally sensitive, conceptual Rorschach interpretation. Then, using six case studies, we illustrate how a schema-processing approach to Rorschach interpretation facilitated the identification of four personal constructions informing their transactional resilience. These constructions were case-specific, self-reflective strategies and included (1) emotional stoicism, (2) frequent introspection, (3) honouring the past, and (4) adopting a new identity. These findings offer an opportunity for rethinking how a culturally sensitive, conceptual Rorschach interpretation allowed understanding of these strategies to emerge. We conclude by discussing the Rorschach indicators that contributed significantly to a better understanding of the role of personal constructions in the resilient participants' process of self-knitting, and encourage psychologists to replicate this schema-processing Rorschach approach.