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Katz, G.A. (1998). Where the Action is: The Enacted Dimension of Analytic Process. J. Amer. Psychoanal. Assn., 46(4):1129-1167.

(1998). Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 46(4):1129-1167

Where the Action is: The Enacted Dimension of Analytic Process

Gil A. Katz

Enacted processes—variously addressed in the current literature by such terms as enactment, actualization, and interaction—represent the conceptual reuniting of Freud's concepts of transference and acting out. These various concepts include a recognition that transference may be represented not only on the verbally symbolized level but also on the enacted level, through psychic organizations and processes that use behavior, silence, and even speech as symbolic vehicles. Countertransference too finds representation within the enacted realm, in response to and in concert with the patient's enacted processes, though in more attenuated fashion. Enacted transference-countertransference processes are conceptualized as a continuously evolving second dimension of analytic treatment. This enacted dimension of analytic process exists alongside, and inextricably interwoven with, the treatment's verbal content, with characteristics unique to each analytic dyad. It occurs naturally and inevitably, without conscious awareness or intent, and is outside the domain of explicit technical interventions. The observable outcroppings or end points of processes within the enacted dimension are what are currently referred to as enactments. Attention to these unintended but meaningful and often elaborately developed characteristics of the treatment process furthers our understanding of the therapeutic action of psychoanalysis. The process of integrating the enacted with the verbal dimension of treatment enables the analysand to achieve higher levels of psychic organization.

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