Bion and Thoughts Too Deep for Words: Psychoanalysis, Suggestion, and the Language of the Unconscious, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Bion and Thoughts Too Deep for Words

Psychoanalysis, Suggestion, and the Language of the Unconscious, 1st Edition

By Robert Caper


128 pages

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Paperback: 9780367418458
pub: 2020-03-25
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pub: 2020-03-25
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This book addresses a range of fundamental questions around the nature of Psychoanalysis. It distinguishes how Psychoanalysis differs from other forms of therapy, explores the ways in which insights into the unconscious can be used to support and help people, and asks questions around any claim for scientific validity.

Informed by Bion’s ideas on containment, group functioning and the fundamental need for truth, this book cites research in infant communication to assert that unconscious communication is present from birth. It goes on to explores the dynamics of communication between psychoanalyst and patient, using these findings to distinguish the practice of Psychoanalysis from suggestion. Moreover, the book asserts that Psychoanalysis is uniquely placed to foster the psychological development made possible by this communication.

Exploring the relationship between unconscious communication, group dynamics, containment and psychological development in a highly original way, Bion and the Language of the Unconscious: Psychoanalysis, Suggestion, and Thoughts Too Deep for Words will be of great interest to psychotherapists, psychologists and psychoanalysts who are interested in the relationship between psychoanalysis and suggestion.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Song-and-Dance

Chapter 2: Song-and-Dance and the Internal World

Chapter 3: The Dynamics of Unconscious Communication

Chapter 4: Psychoanalysis and Suggestion

Chapter 5: Psychoanalysis Beyond Suggestion

Chapter 6: The Analyst’s Oedipal Dilemma

Chapter 7: Psychoanalysis and Science

Chapter 8: The Craft of Psychoanalysis

Chapter 9: Psychoanalysis and Play

Chapter 10: Containment, Self-Containment and Identification

Chapter 11: Finding the Context

Chapter 12: Summary and Conclusions

About the Author

Robert Caper, MD, is the author of three books and numerous articles on psychoanalysis. He has lectured in countries all around the world and currently resides in New York City and Vermont where he practices and teaches.

About the Series

The Routledge Wilfred R. Bion Studies Book Series

The contributions of Wilfred R. Bion are among the most cited in the analytic literature. Their appeal lies not only in their content and explanatory value, but in their generative potential. Although Bion’s training and many of his clinical instincts were deeply rooted in the classical tradition of Melanie Klein, his ideas have a potentially universal appeal. Rather than emphasizing a particular psychic content (e.g., Oedipal conflicts in need of resolution; splits that needed to be healed; preconceived transferences that must be allowed to form and flourish, etc.), he tried to help open and prepare the mind of the analyst (without memory, desire or theoretical preconception) for the encounter with the patient.

Bion’s formulations of group mentality and the psychotic and non-psychotic portions of the mind, his theory of thinking and emphasis on facing and articulating the truth of one’s existence so that one might truly learn first hand from one’s own experience, his description of psychic development (alpha function and container/contained) and his exploration of O are "non-denominational" concepts that defy relegation to a particular school or orientation of psychoanalysis. Consequently, his ideas have taken root in many places…. and those ideas continue to inform many different branches of psychoanalytic inquiry and interest.

It is with this heritage and its promise for the future developments of psychoanalysis in mind that we present The Routledge Wilfred R. Bion Studies Book Series. This series gathers together under newly emerging and continually evolving contributions to psychoanalytic thinking that rest upon Bion’s foundational texts and explore and extend the implications of his thought.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health