The Violence of Emotions

Bion and Post-Bionian Psychoanalysis

By Giuseppe Civitarese

© 2013 – Routledge

240 pages

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Paperback: 9780415692137
pub: 2012-10-05
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About the Book

In The Violence of Emotions the author marries an ability to introduce the reader to the intimate climate of an analytic session with a passionate rereading of Bion. To emphasize both the empirical nature of psychoanalysis and its extraordinary capacity to engender illuminating hypotheses concerning the functioning of the mind, clinical examples alternate with theoretical argument. The psychoanalytic model espoused by Giuseppe Civitarese in his approach to both is analytic field theory. Developed by various authors, including Ferro, commencing with Bion and continued with contributions from the Barangers, Grotstein and Ogden, the theory of the analytic field reveals the social nature of subjectivity and, in clinical work, the intersubjective and dreamlike climate in which a psychoanalytic session unfolds. This leads to a new way of interpreting the facts of analysis. As such, topics of discussion include:

  • transcending the caesura as Bion’s theoretical method
  • hypochondria as de-subjectivation and narrative genre in analysis
  • the aesthetic conflict and alfa function
  • Bion’s search for ambiguity
  • the casting of characters in the analytic dialogue
  • metaphor of text and translation in Freud and Bion.

Yet the book has an even more specific objective, focusing attention as it does on the central importance of emotions in mental life and of aesthetic experience as the model of what truly happens in analysis. This is an aspect which the author rediscovers and explores in the thought of Bion and his successors, and which he regards as a way of investigating the deepest and most primitive levels of mental life. This book will be of great interest to psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, and psychotherapists.

Table of Contents

Sabbadini, Preface. Foreword. ‘Caesura’ as Bion’s discourse on method. Under the cover of darkness. The burning body: The perception of psychic qualities and hypochondria. The cat's eyes: Internal focalization and casting in the psychoanalytic dialogue. The equation analysis/painting and the aesthetics of the real. Aesthetic conflict and the  function. The analyst's internal setting and its discontent. From the mystical writing pad to the  function: Metaphors of text and translation in Freud and Bion.

About the Author

Giuseppe Civitarese is a psychiatrist with a PhD in psychiatry and relational sciences. He is a member of the Italian Psychoanalytic Society (SPI) and of the American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA), both affiliated to the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA). His previous publications include The Intimate Room: Theory and Technique of the Analytic Field.

About the Series

The New Library of Psychoanalysis

The New Library of Psychoanalysis is published by Routledge Mental Health in association with the Institute of Psychoanalysis, London.

Its purpose is to facilitate a greater and more widespread appreciation of psychoanalysis and to provide a forum for increasing mutual understanding between psychoanalysts and those in other disciplines. The series also aims to make some of the work of continental and other non-English speaking analysts more readily available to English-speaking readers, and to increase the interchange of ideas between British and American analysts.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis published its first book in 1987 under the editorship of David Tuckett, later followed by Elizabeth Bott Spillius, Susan Budd and Dana Birksted-Breen. A considerable number of Associate Editors and readers have assisted the editors.

Under the guidance of Foreign Rights Editors, a considerable number of the New Library books have been published abroad, particularly in Brazil, Germany, France, Italy, Peru, Spain and Japan.

The aim of the New Library of Psychoanalysis is to maintain the high level of scholarship of the previous series, to provide a forum for increasing understanding between psychoanalysis and other disciplines and to increase the interest of the general book-reading public in psychoanalysis.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis also aims to help the various schools of psychoanalysis to better understand each other. It has published books representing all three schools of thought in British psychoanalysis, including a particularly important work edited by Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, expounding the intellectual and organisational controversies that developed in the British psychoanalytical Society between Kleinian, Viennese and 'middle group' analysts during the Second World War.

The New Library of Psychoanalysis has also translated and published several books by Continental psychoanalysts, and it plans in the future to continue the policy of publishing books that express as clearly as possible a variety of psychoanalytic points of view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSY026000
PSYCHOLOGY / Movements / Psychoanalysis