Here is a fun test to “Psychoanalyze” yourself. Perhaps you played a version of this game, when you were a child. It is fun! Do it now and return here after, please:



Although the test is just a bit of fun, it shows an example of how we often use symbols to contain personal ideas without even realizing it. This is also called projection and this type of test would be an example of a projective test, sometimes used by psychologists. Provided you are honest in the test and you write down your “initial impulse” and don’t edit yourself too much, the test will yield valid results.

It is important to note that we are not talking about anything “supernatural” or mysterious. This is just the way a human mind works to permit us to relate best to the world.

Similarly, in therapy, this phenomenon pops up. If your therapists catches it and points it out to you, it may permit you to get a glimpse of some very specific aspect of your situation which, otherwise, might have been just”below the radar”. Now that your therapist was able to observe it, you may be able to understand your situation more fully.


Let me give you a classic example. A man in his 40’s is in therapy. One session, he mentions that quite suddenly he has been feeling very sad and irritable, but there is no evident cause. Later in the same session, he briefly mentions a birthday party that he attended. The birthday party seems to stick out to the therapist and she enquires whether the man has any thoughts about birthdays. He confirms, with some surprise, that the day prior it was his late father’s birthday. The man’s father passed away when the man was at university. The man had conflicted feelings about his father. He loved his father dearly, but also felt frustrated with him because the father tried to control him. He talks about his feelings, is able to feel closer to his father, and feels relieved to have discovered the cause of his “mysterious” sadness and irritablity.

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