Couples, families, and projective methods.

This special section is dedicated to using projective methods with couples and families. The field of family psychology has traditionally focused on understanding how human behavior is influenced by interpersonal factors and by the context in which people find themselves. This paradigm may seem at odds with psychological tools that have been designed to explore intrapsychic processes. Yet, the work of Gregory Bateson, which has significantly influenced the field of family therapy, includes novel ideas that are strangely relevant to our field. In Mind and Nature (1979), Bateson talks about how a perception of an event or a phenomenon can be interpreted in different ways according to the context in which the person is in and will influence the person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Interestingly, Rorschach studies have shown that responses to the plates are influenced by context, which confirms Bateson’s theory. The following articles are a demonstration that projective methods can be helpful in understanding interpersonal problems and, in turn, systemic theories can inform clinicians to be mindful that contextual factors will have an influence on how the subject produces responses to the material. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)