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A Journal on Psychiatry, Psychology and Psychopharmacology

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Social Psychiatry
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Minerva Psichiatrica 2007 June;48(2):155-67

language: Italian

The anorexic personality. A study through the application of the Rorschach test

Molgora S.

Laboratorio di Psicologia Clinica Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano


Aim. The bond between anorexia and personality is as controversial, as the results based upon the Rorschach test administered in order to investigate this bond, and to define an anorexia profile. The present contribution aims to analyse the personality characteristics of anorexic subjects in order to establish the presence of common elements and, at the opposite, of distinctive elements.
Methods. Thirty-eight anorexic female inpatients Rorschach protocols were analysed. The analysis, carried out according to the criteria proposed by the Scuola Romana Rorschach, integrates a quantitative-psychometric approach with a qualitative-content based one.
Results. The outcomes show the presence of both common characteristics (the Rorschach anorexia’s profile), and distinctive elements. Such elements deal first with the presence/absence of a personality disorder, then with the disorder characterization or with the traits constellation connected to the disorder.
Conclusion. The matter introduced by Mara Selvini Palazzoli during the 60s regarding the possibility to find a Rorschach typical pattern for anorexia is nowadays topical. In particular, the proved copresence of common personality traits and of distinctive characteristics needs to recognize a “fil rouge”, that can be found in the equal symptom “chosen” by the patients to express their suffering. This copresence needs also to consider the individual specificities and the belonging to different subgroups.

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