A Word of Warning
Nobody minds being told what a wonderful woman she is!
On the other hand, many 8-color selections which may have to be interpreted suggest that things are far from being splendid, the subject being heavily weighed down by anxieties, stress-sources and compensatory behavior of a compulsive and often unwise nature.
If an analysis of such a test is being given verbally, it is essential to pick one’s words with great care so as to be helpful and constructive, rather than to be bluntly dogmatic, since the latter is not only likely to be wounding to the heart but can also be very destructive.
If the report is to be written up for the individual concerned, one is not obliged to adhere to the actual wording of the Tables and it is usually better to put things into language which will communicate the ideas to the person concerned, while at the same time being careful to be as encouraging and constructive as possible.
The 8-color sequence, while demonstrably accurate enough in its analysis, nevertheless analyzes and shows up an existing picture—it does not necessarily indicate whether this picture is the result of deep-seated psychogenic imbalance or whether it is the result of present or past environmental conditions affecting present behavior.
The Luscher 8-Color Test alone is not sufficient to allow this to be determined beyond question, and for this the Full Test (or some other “deep test”) must be resorted to.
Stress or environmental conditions which are intolerable and which lead to sub-optimum behavior can and do affect the personality. However, this effect on the personality
is not necessarily permanent; if found and recognized in time, steps can be taken to change the environment and provide more suitable conditions, in which the undesirable personality traits will begin to fall away.
A test taken again after this has been done will show the improvement which has occurred, whether the improvement is one of personality or of health. On the other hand, personality traits which have developed as a real or imagined defense against difficult environmental
conditions will, if long continued, have a damaging effect on the deeper layers of the psyche.
If this is allowed to happen, then a simple change of environment may no longer be enough and psychotherapeutic help of one sort or another may need to be resorted to.
It is therefore essential, when looking at a test in which all the wrong colors are in the wrong places and which has an allocation of twelve (!)s, not to assume automatically that you should immediately send for a psychiatrist and a straitjacket! It may well be the test of a psychologically healthy and normal individual who is finding existing conditions intolerable and reacting to them rather desperately.
Examine the problems with him or, if it is your own test, examine your own problems. If you cannot see that the existing situation bears any relationship to the personality revealed by the test analysis, then find a psychologist who can administer a Full Luscher Test, or some
other “deep” test, such as the Rorschach or the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI).
The Full Luscher Test shows far more than an individual’s reactions to existing situations and his general effect response behavior; it shows also his habitual conditioned attitude, his unconscious attitudes in the fields of emotion, volition, action and aspiration, and the drives and needs buried deep in his psyche. Armed with this information, the psychologist, the psychiatrist, the psychoanalyst can not only arrive at a complete and accurate diagnosis but can also see more easily what is the best remedial action to take.
If, therefore, the interpretation which results from use of the Luscher 8-Color Test as described i n this book causes any concern, the best advice is to follow the matter up to the next stage. Consult a physician or a psychologist and find out whether the situation is environmental, medical or due to psychogenic causes. Correct knowledge of a problem is far more than half the answer to it!
Examples of Test Analyses
Example 1: Executive Vice-President of large international
firm. 54 years of age. Married.
!! !!! Total !s = 5
C C A + FUNCTION:
+ 1 +0 , + + X x = = _ — x FUNCTION:
x 2 x 3
1ST SELECTION 1 0 2 3 5 6 7 4 = FUNCTION:
= 6 =5
2ND SELECTION 1 0 2 3 6 5 7 4 – FUNCTION:
– 7 -4
+ + X x = = — — + – FUNCTION:
c c A + 1 – 4 ,
+ 0 – 4
!! !!! Total !s = 5
EXISTING SITUATION (X FUNCTION): (X 2 x 3)
Authoritative, or in a position of authority, but liable to feel that further progress is rendered problematical by existing difficulties. Perseveres despite opposition.
STRESS SOURCES – (— FUNCTION): (—7 — 4)
Unfulfilled hopes have led to uncertainty and a tense watchfulness. Insists on freedom of action and resents any form of control other than that which is self-imposed. Unwilling to go without or to relinquish anything, demanding security as a protection against further setback or loss of position and prestige. Doubts that things will be any better in the future, this negative attitude leading him to exaggerate his claims and to refuse reasonable compromises.
RESTRAINED CHARACTERISTICS (= FUNCTION): (=6 = 5)
Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense. Able to obtain physical satisfaction from sexual activity but tends to hold aloof emotionally.
DESIRED OBJECTIVE. (+ FUNCTION): (+1+0)
Needs release from stress. Longs for peace, tranquility and contentment
ACTUAL PROBLEMS (+ – FUNCTIONS): (+1 – 4)
1. Disappointment at the non-fulfillment of his hopes and the fear that formulating fresh goals will only lead to further setbacks have resulted in considerable anxiety. He is trying to escape from this into a peaceful and harmonious state or relationship which will protect him from dissatisfaction and lack of appreciation.
(+0 — 4)
2. If his proposed solution (above) fails to work, he withdraws and protects
himself by an attitude of cautious reserve. Is liable to become moody and depressed.
SUMMARY: A man in an authoritative position who is persevering despite difficulties, but who no longer finds much pleasure in his lot. Has had setbacks and disappointments, now wanting
nothing more than to be able to relax in peace and take things more easily. Gets little satisfaction from what he does, being cautious, reserved and pessimistic.
A study of the text of this information will reveal certain additional details which can be included
in a full analysis. Some examples of the type of information are set out below:
1. The close similarity between first and second selections (virtually identical) suggests a certain rigidity of outlook and a degree of emotional inflexibility.
2. His job (described here by the X function, X 2 X 3) follows immediately after the “switching-off” grey, indicating that he does it mechanically, without it really being a part of himself.
3. His need for calm, orderliness of environment, freedom from upsets (1 in 1st position) is compensatory and therefore likely to be inappropriate as a method of handling his circumstances at times—for instance, by being too placid or over-tolerant in dealing with situations which might require firm handling.
4. Rejected yellow (4 in 8th position) leads to discouragement, irritability and mistrust of the motives of others.
5. Tends to cling to the familiar (page 65—rejected yellow and preferred blue) and therefore hangs on to his possessions and to the traditional way of doing things. He would be unwilling to gamble or take risks of any sort.
6. Unlikely to be very happy in his married life, which would be a rather masochistic type of attachment to which he would cling despite joylessness, rather than risk the unfamiliar.
7. Though the “work-group” is not intact, yet the 2 and 3 are together in the X group, the 4 being rejected to 8th place. This implies that he tackles his work purposefully, wanting to enhance his prestige by doing it well, but that it gives h im little pleasure. He would be reluctant to effect changes or accept new ideas (rejected yellow).
8. If his business or domestic life were to become disturbed or erratic, his health might suffer (blue compensation as a need to recuperate).
9. He wants “an interval of tranquility,” his existing situation is one of “purposeful activity,” he feels any surrender to “sensuousness” is inappropriate and he firmly rejects
“headstrong decisions” and dislikes “crises.” From this, he would appear as a quiet, methodical man and a hard worker, but unimaginative, preferring things to follow traditional and well-beaten paths—by no means a “ruthless tycoon.”
10. With five (!)s in both virtually identical selections, his attitude does not change readily. Only 18.2% of “normal adults” would have a greater number of (!)s
Example 2: Senior business executive. 48 years of age. Divorced.
Total (!)s = 1
A + FUNCTION:
– = FUNCTION:
x 2 x 4
6 = FUNCTION:
= 0 = 6,
= 5 = 1
7 – FUNCTION:
– 1 . – 7
+ – FUNCTION:
+ 3 – 7,
Total !s = 2
C C C
+ + + x = = —
1ST SELECTION 4 2 0 3 1 5 7
2ND SELECTION 3 2 4 0 6 5 1
+ x x = = = –
EXISTING He is trying to improve his position and SITUATION prestige. Is dissatisfied with his existing (x FUNCTION): circumstances and considers some i m – (x 2 x 4) provement essential to his self-esteem.
STRESS SOURCES (- FUNCTION): (- 7) (-1)
1. Intensely anxious to be independent, unhampered and free from any limitation or restriction other than those he imposes on himself by his own choice and decision. He feels he is not sufficiently in control of his own destiny.
2. Holding depletion and depression at bay by keeping active; refuses to let
himself relax. An existing situation or relationship is unsatisfactory, but he feels unable to
change it to bring about the sense of belonging which he needs. He is unwilling
to expose his vulnerability and therefore continues to resist this state of affairs, but feels dependent on the attachment. This not only depresses him but makes him irritable and impatient, producing considerable restlessness and the urge to get away from the situation,
either actually or, at least, mentally. His ability to concentrate may suffer. Restless and dissatisfied.
RESTRAINED CHARACTERISTICS (= FUNCTION): (=0 = 6) (=5 = 1)
Willing to become emotionally involved and able to achieve satisfaction from sexual activity.
Feels rather isolated and alone, but is too reserved to allow himself to form deep attachments. Egocentric and therefore quick to take offense.
DESIRED OBJECTIVE (+ FUNCTION): (+ 3)
Activity is directed towards success and conquest. Takes a delight in action, is intense, vital and animated, with the desire to live life to the full.
ACTUAL PROBLEMS (+ — FUNCTIONS): ( + 3 – 7 ) (+3 — 1)
l. Fighting against restriction or limitation and insists on developing freely as a result of his own efforts.
2. Anxiety and a restless dissatisfaction, either with circumstances or with unfulfilled emotional demands, have produced stress. He tries to escape by intense activity, directed either towards personal success or a variety of experience.
SUMMARY: A capable and active man, who devotes himself rather compulsively to his work in his attempt to compensate for emotional nonfulfillment. Ambitious but restless, and likely to try his hand at many things. Becomes discontented when he finds conditions restrictive.
1. The fact that he directs his energies into work of some sort is further supported by the coming together of the “work-group” under even the slight pressure of concentrating on doing the test. This indicates that activity is his protection,
2. The changes between first and second selections indicate flexibility of outlook (page 30).
3. The “work-group” is intact, and right at the beginning, showing the ability to work long and continuously at a job he likes doing.
4. The initial 3 being compensatory, he is likely to immerse himself too deeply, or too compulsively, in his activities; for instance, becoming totally absorbed and failing to do something else which is more essential (5—compensations).
5. Rejected blue (1 in 7th position) leads to restlessness and a tendency to become dissatisfied. With black as an anxiety (7 in 8th position), this dissatisfaction is most likely to manifest itself where restrictive conditions prevail.
6. Grey (o) in the first half of the test indicates a “switching-off.” Here it occurs after the full “workgroup,” implying that he is only able to experience directly through his work and his activities.
7. The + 3 — 1 “actual problem” suggests either a “Don Juan syndrome” with its attendant sexual pursuit as an attempt to compensate for emotional non-fulfillment (he has been divorced), or a pursuit of vigorous and adventurous activity.
8. The integrity of the “work-group” at the very beginning of the row indicates an absence of exhaustibility, suggesting reasonably good health and an alert, active body. This is supported by brown (6) in the “indifferent” area.
9. While the first selection has only one ! and the second has two, nevertheless there is little to choose between them, the first selection having three Cs and one A, while the second has one C and two As. Two (!)s is about the average for “normal adults,” there being only 38% (based on a sample of 1,000 testees) who are better off so far as allocation of (!)s is concerned.