Summers seminars

 ISR first virtual Summer Seminars 2020

The ISR is pleased to hold a virtual 2020 Summer Seminar on
Expressions and Complexities of Depression on Projective Tests

Guest lecturers:

Marek Macak
Cecilia Kallenberg, Psy.D and Malin Holm, Psy.D
Odile Husain, Ph.D


James Kleiger, Psy.D

Continuing Education Chairperson:

Odile Husain, Ph.D

Dates: Thursday 10th, 17th and 24th September 2020

Schedule: Participants from different parts of the world can participate simultaneously: 7am to 1pm (Pacific), 10 am to 2 pm (Eastern), 11am to 3 pm (South America), 4 pm to 8 pm (Europe), 11 pm to 3 am (Japan). At a later stage, a recording will be available for purchase for those who cannot attend.


The three meetings will last 4 hours each and will vastly follow the format of the summer seminars, but spread out over 3 weeks.

Day schedule (Eastern time):

10.00-11.15 am: Presentation (power point) and introduction to the clinical case, using the share screen feature of zoom

11.15-12.00: General comments and Discussant’s comments

12.00-12.15: Self-serve coffee break!

12.15-13.15: Small group discussion using the break out room feature of zoom

13.15-14.00: General discussion about the case and Discussant’s closing comments


The ISR Summer Seminars require familiarity with the Rorschach test.


ISR member before July 25th: 240 CHF
ISR member after July 25th: 265 CHF
non ISR member before July 25th: 270 CHF
non ISR member after July 25th: 295 CHF

Maximum capacity:

All faculty members (5) will participate on all three days. Number of places is limited.





Jim Kleiger, Psy.D, Bethesda, MD, USA - Discussant

Advances in biopsychiatry and cognitive neuroscience have transformed the face of depression in ways both helpful and limiting. Once considered a symptom of loss, a marker of developmental capacity, or byproducts of an embattled self or retroflected aggression, contemporary views of depression are often narrow – confined to symptoms and regarded solely as illness states or points on a spectrum of mood disorders.

Projective methods provide ways to look beyond the symptoms and understand the myriad meanings of depression, its underpinnings, phenomenology, and treatment implications. Presenters will illustrate the role of projective methods in illuminating the complexities of depression in various diagnostic contexts and treatment settings.

Marek Macák, Prague, Czech Republic

A History of Depression on the Rorschach

Across the history of our field, various authors have devised many ways of capturing depression in Rorschach, stressing both different aspects of the patients' production and using different understandings of the depressive experience. This landscape of ideas and practices can enrich and contextualise our contemporary understanding and practice. The historical presentation will be framed by metatheoretical reflection on the structure of interpretive processes involved in assessment.

Cecilia Kallenberg, Psy.D and Malin Holm, Psy.D, Stockholm, Sweden

The need to feel alive - different faces of depression in young offenders

Depressive states are common in young offenders and important to recognize, to fully understand what may drive violent, anti-social behaviors. Performance tests are indispensable as depressive feelings are often disguised and denied. We develop concepts around depression and violence and also touch upon the psychology of “toxic masculinity”. Our methodological framework is multi-method assessment with an extra twist as we in this case adopt blind interpretation of the Wartegg, before integrating the results with other test data.

Odile Husain, Ph.D, Montreal, Canada

Rebel depression: The case for manic depressive personalities

In our practice, both public and private, we have often met patients who spend years battling recurring depression or dysphoria without a satisfying response to treatment. This led our team to hypothesize the existence of a broad spectrum of manic depressive functioning, marked by specific processes, themes and forms of speech on the Rorschach and the TAT. The participants will be introduced to these markers and will be able to analyze a case of depression using these references.


Download the Registration Form

About the summer seminars

The International Society of the Rorschach and Projective Methods has developed a tradition of holding the Summer Seminars every year in between the world congresses. What makes the Summer Seminars special is that the number attending is limited, to a maximum of 40 participants, in addition to the faculty. We consider this important, as it allows all participants an opportunity to actively engage in the discussions and the chance to get to know each other over the course of the 3 days, which is facilitated by participants and the faculty staying in the same hotel and eating lunch together. We are pleased to welcome members from all over the world, as well as people who are not yet members of the ISR. Participants have commented favourably on the welcoming, friendly and collaborative nature of the Seminars, and we are delighted that many ISR members have attended the Summer Seminars on more than one occasion. We have found English to be the common language and so all the presentations are in English. There will, however, be colleagues who can translate on a more informal basis into other major languages when needed, during the lectures/workshops and to help facilitate discussion amongst participants.

The Summer Seminars also serve an important purpose to raise funds for the Hermann Rorschach Archives and Museum (HRAM) in Bern, an initiative developed by John Exner.

The historical context

Our format for the Summer Seminars is not new and actually dates back to the late 40’s and early 50’s, when they were held in Zurich, Switzerland. The well-regarded Rorschach specialists of the time, Walter Morgenthaler and Margaret Loosli-Usteri were central to the development of the early programs and contributed actively to them. Presentations were also made by other outstanding Rorschach colleagues, such as Schachter and Bohm. Each person usually presented once, or twice at the most, with some form of roundtable discussion and the topics varied considerably.

The Summer Seminars today

Since the revival of the Summer Seminars, the ISR has chosen Speiz, Switzerland; Vaxholm, Sweden; Montegrotto, Italy; Lucerne, Switzerland; Prague, Czech Republic; Montreux, Switzerland, San Remo, Italy and Porto,Portugal for their beautiful locations and atmosphere to host our seminars (in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013). For each of the Summer Seminars, the program is organised around a particular theme, for example, ‘Psychosis and Rorschach Assessment’ in 2012 and ‘Capturing Change, using the Rorschach and other Tests’ in 2013. The 3 seminars days include a lecture in the morning, followed by a workshop, group and roundtable discussion focussing on one or more case studies in the afternoon. In addition, the Summer Seminars include a social program.