Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Levenson, E.A. (2006). Response to John Steiner. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 87(2):321-324.

(2006). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 87(2):321-324

Response to John Steiner Related Papers Language Translation

Edgar A. Levenson

I am very grateful to Dr. Gabbard for affording me this opportunity to respond to Dr. Steiner's stimulating and provocative paper on enactment. I come from an interpersonal perspective—heavily influenced by Sullivan, Fromm and Ferenczi—that has virtually since its inception been very invested in this issue. There is a hoary psychoanalytic joke that goes, ‘What is acting out?’ And the answer is, ‘Whatever makes the analyst nervous.’ It suggests how elusive and subjective these categories can be.

So, I must begin by indicating some puzzlement. Steiner seems to be conflating acting out, frame violations, countertransference and enactments, when he says that, ‘It is difficult to reconcile the idea that enactments can give helpful information about the patient and his relationships with the recognition that, in the process, boundaries may be violated and to a greater or lesser extent both the patient and the analytic work can be damaged.’ He continues, ‘Enactments by definition cross the boundary from thought to action and, unless they are recognized and regulated, can enter that grey area between normal technique, technical error, and unethical boundary violation’ (my italics).

I quote this in detail so that there can be no misunderstanding or misprision. This seems to put all failures of an analyst's neutrality on a continuum, a slippery slope whereon countertransference may open the floodgates to a major violation of the integrity of the therapy.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2021, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.