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Jacobs, T.J. (1993). Insight and Experience: Commentary on Morris Eagle's “Enactments, Transference, and Symptomatic Cure”. Psychoanal. Dial., 3(1):123-127.

(1993). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 3(1):123-127

Insight and Experience: Commentary on Morris Eagle's “Enactments, Transference, and Symptomatic Cure” Related Papers

Theodore J. Jacobs, M.D.

In his intriguing contribution, “Enactments, Transference, and Symptomatic Cure,” Dr. Eagle has written the kind of paper rarely attempted by the author of a case study. In the light of the recently published views of Gill, Weiss and Sampson, and others concerning the importance of here-and-now interactions between patient and therapist, he has reexamined his material, concluded that he overlooked certain critical transitions in his work with Ms. S, and developed some intriguing ideas about the role that these experiences played in the therapeutic process.

The critical reexamination by a therapist of a previously treated case is an unusual occurrence in our field. It is, however, a uniquely valuable way for therapists to assess their work and to gain a fresh perspective on the changes that have taken place in their thinking and clinical approach over time. Eagle is to be congratulated for undertaking the reexamination of a fascinating case and for sharing the results of his reflections with us. In doing so he has provided us with an opportunity not only to assess the factors that led to a remarkable change in his patient but to review some of the ideas on which his reevaluation of the treatment is based.

Briefly summarized, Eagle's understanding of the key transactions that took place between Ms. S and him is as follows. During one session Ms. S toyed with the top two buttons on her blouse, buttoning and unbuttoning them in an unconsciously seductive manner. This behavior had a stimulating effect on Eagle, and, by way of response, he suggested in a subsequent session that Ms. S consider using the couch.

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