1st Edition

The Play Within the Play: The Enacted Dimension of Psychoanalytic Process

By Gil Katz Copyright 2014
    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    208 Pages
    by Routledge

    In The Play within the Play: The Enacted Dimension of Psychoanalytic Process Gil Katz presents and illustrates the "enacted dimension of psychoanalytic process." He clarifies that enactment is not simply an overt event but an unconscious, continuously evolving, dynamically meaningful process.

    Using clinical examples, including several extended case reports, Gil Katz demonstrates how in all treatments, a new version of the patient’s early conflicts, traumas, and formative object relationships is inevitably created, without awareness or intent, in the here-and-now of the analytic dyad. Within the enacted dimension, repressed or dissociated aspects of the patient’s past are not just remembered, they are re-lived. Katz shows how, when the enacted dimension becomes conscious, it forms the basis for genuine and transforming experiential insight.

    Introduction. Section I: Theoretical Evolution. In the Beginning: The Talking Cure and the Problem of Action. Forerunners: The Transference–Countertransference Matrix. Enactment: The Emergence of a New Concept. Section II: The Enacted Dimension of Analytic Process. Where the Action Is: The Second Dimension of Analytic Process. Clinical Illustrations: Reliving Preverbal and Unformulated Experience in the Enacted Dimension. Clinical Illustration: An Enacted Process within an Enacted Process. Interaction in Psychoanalysis: Across and Through the Interspychic "Cat-Flap". Enactment and Analytic Technique: What We Can Learn from John Lennon and Microwave Ovens. Enactment and Actualization in a Thirteen Year Treatment. The Enacted Dimension of Analytic Supervision: The Parallel Process Phenomenon. Section III: Trauma and the Enacted Dimension. Dissociative Identity Disorder and the Enacted Dimension. Object Loss and Mourning in the Enacted Dimension. Transgenerational Transmission of the Holocaust Trauma in the Enacted Dimension. Section IV: Frequently Asked Questions (and Answers).


    Gil Katz is a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology, Faculty Member, and Supervising Analyst at the NYU Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, where he also chairs the Faculty and Curriculum Committee of the Contemporary Freudian Track. He is a Faculty Member and Fellow (Training and Supervising Analyst) at the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research (IPTAR), where he has also served as Dean of Training. Dr. Katz teaches courses on enacted processes in psychoanalytic treatment at both institutes.

    "This is an indispensable book for anyone interested in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice. In a definitive, highly original, and practically useful way, Dr. Katz augments and enriches our understanding of the concept of enactment by demonstrating that it is an ongoing unconscious process that plays a central role in every treatment. In doing so, he has made a major contribution to our field." - Theodore J. Jacobs, M.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, New York Psychoanalytic Institute and the Institute for Psychoanalytic Education

    "In "The Play within the Play: The Enacted Dimension of Psychoanalytic Process," Gil Katz gives us a much needed overview of thinking about enactments in clinical work. From a contemporary Freudian object relations perspective, he offers a comprehensive, fair-minded study of contributions from a wide range of theoretical traditions. Katz's book is a sure-handed guide through the complexities of this topic. Candidates and practitioners alike will be challenged to test their own thinking against his original observations and formulations." - Jay Greenberg, Ph.D., Training and Supervising analyst, William Alanson White Institute and Editor, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly

    "This innovative book illustrates the extent to which psychoanalysis has truly evolved. Along with dreams, transference, and countertransference, contemporary analysts now consider enactment and nonverbal communication within the analytic dyad to be one of the main elements of clinical experience. This wonderful and original book by Gil Katz explores, expands, and creatively illustrates the "enacted dimension of analytic process," an unconscious transference-countertransference dimension of all treatments, in which unrepresented and pre-represented early experience finds expression and becomes available for analytic work. This rich and original contribution deepens our understanding of analytic process, and advances psychoanalytic theory and practice."-Stefano Bolognini, M.D., President-Elect, International Psychoanalytic Association

    "Enactment is one of the many concepts in psychoanalysis that seems to become less clear the more it's used. In this volume Gil Katz bravely takes on this term, and explores it in depth, both theoretically and clinically. His exploration of this topic over the last fifteen years led to his felicitous phrase "the enacted dimension of analytic process," capturing how ubiquitous and continuous it is within analytic process. His contemporary Freudian, object relations viewpoint brings fresh insights to our methods of understanding and working in this important arena of the psychoanalytic relationship." -

    Fred Busch, Ph.D., Training and Supervising Analyst, PINE Psychoanalytic Center and Faculty, Boston Psychoanalytic Institute