1st Edition

The Post-Bionian Field Theory of Antonino Ferro Theoretical Analysis and Clinical Application

Edited By Howard B. Levine Copyright 2022
    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    152 Pages
    by Routledge

    This exciting and original collection explores Antonino Ferro’s post-Bionian Field Theory, expanding upon the analytic work of Wilfred Bion to focus on the intersubjective development of psychic regulatory processes.

    Written by members of the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies who have maintained a close and fruitful collaboration with Ferro and his colleagues, the book centers on understanding, engaging and treating primitive mental states. Ferro's Field Theory operationalizes Bion’s concept of an analyst who is not the repository of ‘the truth’, but is instead one who has the capacity to listen, to dwell in doubt, to utilize reverie, humor and play, and facilitate the transformation of previously unthinkable aspects of the patient’s experience into articulatable mental elements such as pictorial images, thoughts and dreams. Ferro’s contributions and their analysis are especially relevant to working with primitive character disorders, the difficulties of which lie beyond neurosis and the comfortable reach of the precepts of classical analytic technique.

    Each chapter features detailed clinical examples that explicate and apply post-Bionian Field Theory, making this book an interesting and useful read for analysts and analytic therapists of all orientations, who work with patients in all diagnostic categories.

    1 The Transformational Vision of Antonino Ferro

    Howard B. Levine

    2 The Logic of the Field

    Howard B. Levine

    3 Post-Bionian Field Theory: An Illustration

    Howard B. Levine

    4 Dreaming Upstream: Pictograms and the Field

    Dolan Power

    5 An Invitation to Think: Trauma, Aporia and the Intersubjective Field – A Clinical Example

    David G. Power

    6 The Hallucinated Field

    Rodrigo Barahona

    7 E Pluribus Unum: Origins of the Analytic Field

    Lawrence J. Brown

    8 Field Theory and Child Work: Playing on Separate and Overlapping Fields

    Allen Palmer

    9 Coda: the Field of the Future, the Future of the Field

    Howard B. Levine


    Howard B. Levine is a member of APSA, PINE, the Contemporary Freudian Society, NYU Post-Doc’s Contemporary Freudian Track, and is in private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts. He is the author of Transformations de l’Irreprésentable, Editor-in-Chief of The Routledge Wilfred R. Bion Studies Book Series and a Director and founding member of the Boston Group for Psychoanalytic Studies.

    'Howard Levine and his Boston Group were among the first outside of Italy to become interested in the study of post-Bionian Field Theory. Marked by innovative theoretical elaborations and abundant clinical examples, this book is an important testimony to their many fruitful exchanges with Antonino Ferro and the Pavia School. I warmly recommend it to psychotherapists and psychoanalysts at all levels, who are in search of new and versatile working tools to devote to the treatment of psychic suffering.'

    Giuseppe Civitarese, author of Sublime Subjects: Aesthetic Experience and Intersubjectivity in Psychoanalysis (Routledge)

    'Ferro’s integration of Baranger’s Field Theory, Bion’s theory of transformations and his own concept of co-narratives has had a profound effect on psychoanalysis worldwide. This book shows experienced analysts at work offering readers a clear history, conceptual description, elaboration and clinical application of Ferro’s seminal ideas, as it plunges us into zones that are the core of our analytic interactions and psychic life. Levine and the other authors’ success in integrating fundamental European, American and South American concepts in their approach makes this book truly unique.'

    Rudi Vermote, author of Reading Bion (Routledge), training and supervising analyst, Belgian Psychoanalytic Society