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.
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
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.