Advanced Psychodiagnostic Interpretation of the Bender Gestalt Test: Adults and Children
Although personality assessment and delineation was attempted as early as the fifth century, the intensive study of human personality characteristics and efforts to measure them are less than two hundred years old. Instruments to measure the unconscious aspects of personality began to emerge early in the twentieth century, largely as a result of the work of those interested in the measurement of human perception. The Bender Gestalt Test was catapulted into prominence when World War II provided an urgent need for personality tests to diagnose huge numbers of American soldiers who were culturally and geographically diverse, more than occasionally illiterate, and often suffering from one of many psychiatric disorders or some degree of organic brain syndrome. Since the Bender Gestalt Test could be administered to large groups of soldiers in five to ten minutes, it became one of the most popular tests of that era, and it has remained one of the five most popular and frequently used tests for the assessment of personality and neurologic abnormalities.
American academicians, researchers, and clinicians affected by the surge in cost containment measures of managed health care and the sharply reduced funding in outpatient and inpatient mental health services are seeking expeditious, inexpensive solutions for complex, often chronic problems. The Bender Gestalt Test offers quick, relatively culture-free, non-verbal personality and neurologic information that is ideal for group administration. Based on thirty years of experience with more than twenty thousand subjects of diverse ethnic and educational backgrounds, as well as independent research conducted at the University of Miami, Florida, the system developed by Reichenberg and Raphael offers a new means of extending and increasing the dynamic personality assessment usage of the test. As such, it is of great use to researchers and practitioners in medical and psychiatric hospitals and counseling and assessment programs in both the public and private sectors.