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Waska, R. (2009). Interpretive Acting-Out: Unavoidable and Sometimes Useful. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 18(3):149-157.

(2009). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 18(3):149-157

Interpretive Acting-Out: Unavoidable and Sometimes Useful

Robert Waska, Ph.D., MFT, FIPA

Using one detailed case presentation, this paper examines the clinical hardship of making accurate and helpful interpretations that do not become part of the patient's defensive system. The author argues that interpretive acting-out is inevitable in the psychoanalytic process. But, if properly monitored, understood, and contained, these interpretive enactments can sometimes actually be a profit to the overall treatment. Issues of projective identification, counter-transference, and the importance of realizing our transference role in the patient's changing phantasies are discussed throughout the case material.

(Received June 2008; accepted February 2009)

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