Jungian psychotherapists use a number of assessments. These include both objective and subjective instruments and techniques. The Jungian theories have had an impact on the development of subjective techniques such as word association, projective tests such as the Rorschach Test (Ellenberger, 1970) and the TAT (Groth-Marnat, 2009), and objective instruments such as the MBTI. The goal is to determine the client's psychological attitudes and types, unconscious thoughts and feelings, and complexes. By becoming aware of their attitudes and personality types, clients can understand their primary way of interacting with the world and gain better self-understanding. These assessments are used in career counseling, scholastic advising, psychological evaluations, workplace conflict resolution, family counseling, and couples counseling.
When Jung was a novice psychiatrist, he invented the word association test as a means to enter the world of his severely impaired patients at the psychiatric hospital. With the word association test, clients are presented with a series of words and are asked to reply with the first thought that enters their mind. The test was discussed in detail earlier in the chapter.
Rorschach Psychodiagnostic Inkblot Test
The Rorschach Inkblot Test is the test that most people think of when they think of traditional projective psychological evaluations (Erford, 2007). Herman Rorschach was inspired by Jung's introversion and extraversion attitudes when he developed the Psychodiagnostic Inkblot Test (Ellenberger, 1970). This is a subjective test in which clients are asked to look at bilaterally symmetrical shapes and report what they see. In this way, they project their thoughts about the drawing and give information about their unconscious thoughts and feelings, needs, motivations, and conflicts. The overarching construct behind this instrument is this: Responses to the ambiguous inkblot stimuli indicate how individuals respond to other ambiguous situations in their lives. Responses are scored along three general categories: (a) the location on the inkblot that the respondent focuses on; (b) properties, such as color and shape of the inkblot, that the respondent focuses on; and (c) the category (e.g., human, animal, architecture, anatomy) that the response fits into (Groth-Marnat, 2009).
Thematic Apperception Test
The TAT is another projective instrument that was developed based on Jungian theoretical constructs. When Henry Murray developed the TAT with Christina Morgan in 1935, he was one of Jung's proteges (Sharf, 2008). This instrument consists of a series of 20 pictures of ambiguous scenes. A children's edition has been developed using children or animals in the pictures. The most common variation is the Roberts Apperception Test for Children (McArthur & Roberts, 1990). This instrument has alternate cards so that the majority of the pictures can be matched to the child's gender. Each child views 16 pictures (Groth-Marnat, 2009).
With any of the apperception instruments, the examinee is asked to tell the story in each picture. The examiner asks the examinee to give details regarding the events leading up to the picture and also to tell the outcome. The responses are rated quantitatively and qualitatively along a continuum for the sophistication of the responses, detail, and personal information that is revealed. There is not a specific scoring guide for the instruments; instead, the interpretation rests with the therapist's clinical judgment. Although the TAT test is the sixth most commonly used instruments used for psychological assessment (Camara, Nathan, & Puente, 2000), it is recommended that it be used with a battery of other instruments because the TAT is open to subjective analysis (Groth-Marnat, 2009). The TAT is also a well-researched instrument. A literature review, covering the past 10 years, revealed 1,743 peer-reviewed journal publications and 451 chapters and essays that have been devoted to the TAT.
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
In 1933, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, developed an instrument to assist in the placement of women at work. During World War II, when most of the men were deployed in the various branches of military service, women were encouraged to enter the workforce to fill the needs of the war efforts. Briggs and Myers developed an instrument known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (ΜΒΤΊ) that differentiated 16 personality types and characteristics. The section on MBTI characteristics associated with types (Sharf, 2010) describes the attitudes, dispositions, and characteristics associated with each personality type. Examples of these include but are not limited to (a) ISTJ – the introverted, sensing, thinking, judging type, with characteristics such as quiet, serious, successful, dependable, and so on; or (b) ESFP – the extraverted, sensing, feeling, perceiving type, with characteristics such as extraverted, friendly, the life of the party, hedonistic, and so on.
The results of the MBTI are combined with other assessments such as skills, aptitude, and interest inventories to acquire the most information to assist clients in career exploration. The MBTI is used beyond helping clients choose careers. Information regarding types is used in personal counseling to help clients gain insight into the ways they interact with the world. It is also used in couples counseling so that clients can better understand their partner's personality and typical ways of interacting (Erford, 2007). In addition, the MBTI is used by managers to understand their employees' personalities so that they may create more compatible and better functioning work groups (Myers, McCauley, Quenk, & Hammer, 1998; Sharf, 2010).