ABSTRACT

In this chapter I will address the following questions: How does our increased awareness of the enacted dimension of analytic process affect how we conduct analytic treatment? Do we need to alter our technical principles? Have they even, as some have suggested, become obsolete and expendable? As I noted in Chapter 3, the different ways in which theorists understand and defi ne enactment, as well as the different ways in which theorists conceptualize what we mean by patient-analyst interaction (discussed in the last chapter), lead to different answers to these questions. Defi nitions that emphasize the interpersonal or behavioral aspects of enactment, particularly when they are in the context of an analytic theory that stresses the contributions of the analyst’s subjectivity and favors a more active and interactive analytic stance, tend to view enactment in the context of analytic technique. The concept of the enacted dimension, which emphasizes the underlying unconscious interpsychic process of the phenomenon, views “enactment” as outside the domain of explicit technical interventions and as furthering our understanding, not of technique, but of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis.