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Corbella, V. (2018). Enactment: A necessary conceptual review. IJP Open, 5:20.

(2018). IJP Open, 5:20

Enactment: A necessary conceptual review

Valeria Corbella

The enactment as psychoanalytic concept has been coined by Jacobs, in 1986. From there, it has been expanding within the psychoanalytic community as a novel concept. Originally, the enactment was used to describe an aspect of countertransference expressed by means of subtle actions within the analytical process, thus standing out from noisier performances falling within the spectrum of the acting-out concept. Nowadays, by means of widespread coincidences and discrepancies in how it is used, translated and signified, the term has undergone a transformation –or shall we say denaturalization– from its original meaning. Its similarities with already existing terms jeopardize its epistemological validity as a new and different concept. As a theoretical concept, the enactment takes a complex epistemological position, although as a clinical concept it sheds light on contemporary praxis. This paper will show the partial results from a greater empirical and conceptual research work. It will point out the results from a detailed conceptual review of the enactment, focusing on its history, translations, usages, meaning transformations, comparisons with related terms and theoretical connections, among others.

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