IPA Inter-Regional Encyclopedic Dictionary of Psychoanalysis

Back to Table of Contents

analytical dyad cannot dream the emotional experiences that occur in the analytical field. He described chronic enactment as non-dreams-for-two. On the other hand, acute enactments, that undo chronic enactments, constitute a mix of discharges and non-dreams that are dreaming here-and-now in the analytical field. The capacity to symbolize is a product of the implicit alpha-function that the analyst uses during chronic enactment. IV. B. North American Developments and Clinical Relevance Just as Latin American authors emphasize the importance of the concept to better understand the analytical technique with children and adolescents (Sanchez Grillo, 2004; Rocha, 2009; Borensztejn, 2009), in North America, too, the child and adolescent analysts evolve and use the concept in clinical work and theory. Judith Chused, taken by Theodore Jacobs’s 1986 work with adults on the expansion of countertransference to include ‘enactment’, wrote of a productive use of the self in tracking the analyst’s own reactions in work with the young. Chused (1991, 1992) offered detailed clinical examples in her work with latency age children, adolescents and young adults. In 2003, Chused defined ‘enactment’ widely: “When a patient's behavior or words stimulate an unconscious conflict in the analyst, leading to an interaction that has unconscious meaning to both, that is enactment. Conversely, an enactment occurs when an analyst's behavior or words stimulate an unconscious conflict in a patient, productive of an interaction with unconscious meaning to both. Enactments occur all the time in analysis and outside our offices … Some of the most significant … occur…when an analyst's behavior has deviated from her conscious intent by unconscious motivators, and it ‘feels wrong’ when scrutinized…” (Chused, 2003, p. 678). In 1995, Judith Mitrani coined the term ‘unmentalized experience’ to refer to situations in earliest infancy that later find expression in analysis through the process of enactment, where they can be interpreted in the transference and may give significant form to our imaginative constructions. Later (Mitrani, 2001), she came to the realization that the word ‘experience’ is a misnomer in this context, as there must be psychic awareness and therefore some level of mentalization to experience something. She therefore underlined the distinction between something that has happened to an individual vs. something that has been suffered, and that has subsequently entered the realm of awareness with the aid of a containing object; in other words, some ‘thing’ that has attained a level of significance in the mind. In this, Mitrani harkens back to Federn (1952), Bion (1962) and Winnicott (1974). Federn (1952) made an important distinction between suffering pain and feeling pain. For him, suffering is an active process by the ego, in which the pain-inducing event – e.g., frustration or loss of the object – is taken up and its full intensity is appreciated. Thus, it undergoes transformation and so does the ego. In feeling pain, by contrast, the pain-inducing event cannot be endured and worked through by the ego. The pain is not contained but merely touches the

206

Made with FlippingBook - professional solution for displaying marketing and sales documents online