In his paper on Alfred Lorenzer , Tobias Vollstedt uses the expression « scenical comprehension » to translate the German « szenisches Verstehen« . I feel that this translation might lead to misunderstandings, for two reasons:
1) The word « scenical » in English is closely connected with associations of pittoresque landscapes etc. The German association of « putting on stage » is only vaguely addressed by the word « scenical », the meaning « drawing attention to sth. » not at all. (The same applies to « scenic understanding », a term which has also been used to translate « szenisches Verstehen« .)
2) The word « comprehension » appears awkward, in that it is hardly ever used in connection with psychoanalytic practise – we do not « comprehend » our patients but we understand them.
As Vollstedt states, Lorenzer’s term « szenisches Verstehen » has a lot in common with Betty Joseph’s « total situation », although her theoretical interest is strictly restrained to technique while Lorenzer is developing a meta-psychoanalytical framework. Nevertheless a term hinting at this connection could be useful.
Hopefully native speakers will eventually find an appropriate solution to this problem of translation.