Richard M. Billow's Selected Papers on Psychoanalysis and Group Process
Changing Our Minds
This comprehensive volume presents Richard M. Billow’s unique contributions to the theory and technique of psychotherapy, along with summaries and explications by the volume’s editor, Tzachi Slonim.
Through their behavior, therapists define the clinical culture: how relationships are to be regarded and the depth to which narratives and exchanges may be considered. Known for his integration of Bion’s metapsychology with contemporary psychoanalysis, Billow extends our understanding of "relational" to include the emotional relationships people have with individual and collective ideas, and the behaviors attached to these ideas. "Doing our work" (the title of the last section) involves the therapist’s whole being, including cognitions, dreams, words, deeds, and very presence—mental and somatic. Drawing on Lacan, Billow suggests that therapeutic work ought to include a willingness to penetrate other minds with provocative, controversial ideas. His clinical vignettes portray a masterly clinician-in-action, describing his evolving feelings, thoughts, and assessments.
Billow’s intimate knowledge of Bionian theory, coupled with his down-to-earth demeanour and clear writing, allows him to explicate and expand upon Bion’s important contributions in a manner accessible to the novice and expert therapist alike. With one eye on therapeutic process, and the other on each participant including the therapist himself, Billow invites each of us to change our minds.
Table of Contents
Section I. 1. On the Origin of Clinical Intervention 2. Self-disclosure and Psychoanalytic Meaning 3. It’s All About "Me" 4. Working with Therapists in Group Section II. 5. LHK: Bion’s Basic Affects 6. From Countertransference to Passion 7. Relational Variations of the Container-Contained Section III. 8. Bonding: The Group Therapist’s Contribution 9. Developing Nuclear Ideas 10. Reality Testing and Testing Reality 11. Four Modes of Therapeutic Engagement: Diplomacy, Integrity, Sincerity, and Authenticity Section IV. 12: The Three Rs of Group: Resistance, Rebellion, and Refusal 13. Psychic Nodules and Therapeutic Impasses 14. A Falsifying Adolescent 15. An Intersubjective Approach to Entitlement Section V. 16. Doing Our Work: Words, Deeds, and Presence 17. Deconstructive Interventions 18. Witnessing: The Axis of Group 19. Attention-getting Mechanisms (AGMs): A Personal Journey
Tzachi Slonim, PhD, studied philosophy in the critical rationalist tradition before becoming a clinical psychologist. He maintains a private practice in New York City and is an adjunct professor at the Doctoral Programs in Clinical Psychology at the City University of New York and Pace University and at the Postdoctoral Program in Group Psychotherapy at Adelphi University.
Richard M. Billow, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and holds postdoctoral certificates in psychoanalysis and group psychotherapy. For many years he directed the Postgraduate Group Program at the Derner Institute, Adelphi University. He is a frequent contributor to psychoanalytic and group literature, and the author of Relational Group Psychotherapy: From Basic Assumptions to Passion (2003), Resistance, Rebellion and Refusal: The 3 Rs (2010), and Developing Nuclear Ideas (2016). He is a clinical professor in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy at Adelphi, and practices in Great Neck, New York.