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Israelstam, K. (2016). Enactments at the Edge: Transformational Moments in Psychoanalytically Influenced Couple Therapy. Cpl. Fam. Psychoanal., 6(1):59-77.

(2016). Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, 6(1):59-77

Enactments at the Edge: Transformational Moments in Psychoanalytically Influenced Couple Therapy

Ken Israelstam

Enactments in psychoanalytic theory and practice have been well described as a dynamic that is co-created between analyst and patient. This article explores this concept in analytic couple therapy, focusing particularly on how it is played out in the context of the three-person dynamics of the couple-therapist system. The author considers that only couple interactions that involve mutually coercive projective identification can be truly described as enactments. By invoking dialectical theory and the notion of the dialectical edge, the author attempts to provide an understanding of the psychic mechanisms involved in the transformational moments relating to enactments that occur at times of heightened tension and ambiguity.

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