'Falling from Grace' - When Consultants Go Out of Role: Enactment in the Service of Organizational Consultancy

Journal Article or Monograph

Title: 'Falling from Grace' - When Consultants Go Out of Role: Enactment in the Service of Organizational Consultancy
Year: 2001
Authors: Mersky, R.R.

Despite intentions to the contrary, organizational consultants using a psychoanalytic perspective can and do go out of role. While this is generally thought of as a mistake in practice — which it often is — it may also be seen as an enactment of organizational issues otherwise experienced but not 'known'. The concept of enactment comes from the interpersonal school of psychoanalysis. It takes place when patient and analyst, caught up in the powerful unconscious dynamics of the dyad, together engage in an act that — subsequently illuminated and explored — reveals core intra-psychic issues of the patient that otherwise had not been recognized. This process ultimately leads to mutative action in the patient. In applying this conceptual frame to consultation, it is then possible to view the various ways in which consultants are pulled out of role as enactments of key organizational issues, rather than 'errors' of practice.

Keywords: enactment, countertransference, consultancy, role
Language: English

Journal: Socio-Analysis
Volume: 3
Issue: 1
Start page: 37
End page: 53
Publisher ID:

Submitted by:
Rose Redding Mersky
Senior Associate
inscape international
Corresponding author:

Literature Download:

By downloading the file you agree to comply with the Terms of Use / Guidelines of the ISPSO Library and the copyright/authority information for this Literature (above).

If there is no filename in a link below then a download has not been provided.
Members-only Downloads are via the members-only zone of the website.

External website Download

Local Download

File nameFile typeSize
Falling from Grace.10.00.pdfPDF document194.69 kBInfo

Members-only Download

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License