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.
The Rorschach Archives and Museum
Any surplus income realized by these Seminars will be used to support the current operation and the future development of the Hermann Rorschach Archives and Museum (HRAM) in Bern, to the benefit of all members and researchers who use the Rorschach.