How to work when therapy isn't working

Perceiving and understanding enactments in the therapeutic relationship

Τα τελευταία χρόνια οι πιο συναρπαστικές εξελίξεις στον χώρο μας έχουν έρθει μέσω των νευροεπιστημών, της ψυχοθεραπευτικής σύνθεσης (της αλληλεπίδρασης μεταξύ θεραπευτικών προσεγγίσεων) και της συμπερίληψης του σώματος. Πλέον κατανοούμε ότι με τον έναν ή τον άλλο τρόπο —πέρα από τη λεκτική επαφή— και θα ασχοληθούμε αλλά και θα μπλεχτούμε μέσα στις ψυχολογικές πληγές που φέρνει ο θεραπευόμενος στο γραφείο μας.

The term ‘enactment’ is being used to describe the ways in which the therapist’s whole being is - inevitably and necessarily - drawn into the client’s wounding, leading to impasses and breakdowns in the working alliance. When the working alliance becomes conflicted or breaks, there is great therapeutic potential in these cycles of ‘rupture and repair’ that occur in the client-therapist relationship.

Whilst there are a multitude of ways in which therapists can ignore, avoid and counteract enactment, there is also increasing understanding that it has deep transformative potential*

[* According to Allan Schore, a well-known neuropsychoanalyst and one of the interdisciplinary elders of our field, ‘deep’ psychotherapy, (i.e. therapy that addresses early developmental injury and attachment and character patterns) depends on apprehending, engaging in and transforming spontaneous enactments which occur in the interaction between client and therapist in spite of the client’s repressive and dissociative defences —he speaks about enactment in terms of ‘mutual regressions’ between client and therapist.]

But much of it occurs subliminally. So if it occurs implicitly, unconsciously, outside of awareness, how can we perceive and understand enactment and ultimately respond creatively from within it? 

Much of our training in the talking therapies has focussed on explicit, verbal communication. It has not prepared us for the subtlety, quicksilver spontaneity and the sheer wealth of non-verbal and somatic communication, and how to make sense of it, and link it to the verbal interaction.

This CPD workshop is dedicated to deepening our engagement with difficult dynamics in the therapeutic relationship, and to finding ways of accessing the therapeutic potential locked within them.

It is open to all practising therapists, and suitable for practitioners from all modalities. The seminar, in addition to theoretical analysis, is experiential and interactive both with the trainer and with other participants.

A variety of preparatory and post-workshop materials, including hand-outs and articles, will be available.


In English— 

Michael Soth

internationally recognised integral-relational Body Psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor, with 30 years of experience

Sunday, 24 of January 2021, 9.30 - 18.00

70€ Students
50€ Bursary. (Around 1-2 bursaries will be given in accordance with the revenue of the seminar. Participants who are interested, please contact the organiser with the reasons requesting the bursary).

Επαγγελματίες και εκπαιδευόμενους ψυχικής υγείας (ψυχολόγους, συμβούλους ψυχικής υγείας, ψυχοθεραπευτές κ.λπ.)

τι να κάνεις όταν η θεραπεία δεν λειτουργεί μεταβίβαση αντιμεταβίβαση εκπαίδευση ψυχοθεραπεία ονλάιν σεμινάριο

Τι να κάνεις όταν η θεραπεία δεν λειτουργεί​


We will go beyond the principle of recognising enactments as a significant feature of the therapeutic relationship, and attend to its phenomenological detail:

• How can we notice and ‘catch’ significant moments of enactments?

• and how can we access and make use of the multitude of perceptions, feelings and thoughts which occur in the therapist’s stream of consciousness?

• How, specifically, can we use our own bodymind experience to shed light on the client’s inner world?

• What can the conflicts, discomforts and uncertainties in our own internal process (i.e. what psychoanalysts call the countertransference) tell us about the enactment dynamic?

• What fantasies and hypotheses can we articulate which give us information about the inherent dynamic of the enactment?



What you can expect to learn on the day:

• Perceive the ways in which the client’s wound enters the consulting room

• Register significant and charged moments in the relationship

• Understand these moments in the context of the ‘three kinds of contact'

• Collect in these moments bodymind information which might otherwise remain subliminal

• Collect in these moments images, fantasies, scenarios, narratives which deepen our engagement

• Link these moments to the client’s habitual relational patterns

• Process the charge and pressure impacting on the therapist

• Begin to consider interventions for relieving or intensifying the enactment pressure

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