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Int J Psychoanal. 2013 Oct;94(5):967-91. doi: 10.1111/1745-8315.12095. Epub 2013 Sep 16.

Second thoughts on Agieren: listening to the enacted.

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Orense 85, Esc. 2a, 3° A, 28020, Madrid, Spain.


The author proposes an expanded notion of the concept of Agieren, introduced by Freud in his theory of transference, and to this effect discusses three metapsychological articulations. Firstly, the idea of the psyche is proposed containing different co-existing modalities of representing emotional experience. One is a verbal inscription governed by the logic of the dynamically repressed, and another is the registration of a mode of being, in the form of sequences of psychic gestures that the subject exchanges with his objects. The author proposes that the psychic gesture is the ideopictographic representation for certain emotional states never verbally thought and, consequently, its metapsychological status is unconscious but not repressed. Secondly, these unconscious registers contain specific modalities of processing reality, created by the projective attribution of the parental unconscious. Finally, by conceiving this model of unconscious, ideopictographically represented as psychic gestures, the author proposes that a patient's emotional state, becoming a psychic gesture of the analytic pair, is enacted within the analytic stage. His proposal departs from the frequent view of enactment as a result of the non-represented aspects of the psyche. It is assumed that what is played out by the analytic pair pertains to the unconscious imaginary represented.


Agieren; analytic listening; countertransference; dramatic representation; enactment; ideopictographic register; non-repressed unconscious; psychic gesture; symbolization

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