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A Beam of Intense Darkness : Wilfred Bion's Legacy to Psychoanalysis
Grotstein, James S.
Routledge / Karnac Books / Softcover / 2007-09-01 / 1855754487
Object Relations
reg price: $82.50 our price: $ 70.13 (may be subject to change)
350 pages
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he scope of this work is to synopsize, synthesize, extend, and to challenge Bion in a reader-friendly manner. Presenting the most important legacy-ideas for psychoanalysis—the ideas that are on the cutting edge of the field that need to be known by the mental health profession at large—it highlights and defines the broader and deeper implications of his works.

A Beam of Intense Darkness presents Bion’s ideas faithfully and also uses his ideas as launching pads for the author’s conjectures about where his ideas point. This includes such ideas as “the Language of Achievement”, “reverie,” “truth,” “O,” and “transformations”–in, of, and from it, but also “ L,” “H,” and “K” linkages (to show how Bion rerouted Freud’s instinctual drives to emotions), “container/contained, Bion’s ideas on “dreaming,” “becoming,” “thoughts without a thinker,” “the Grid,” his erasure of the distinction between Freud’s, “primary and secondary processes “ and the “pleasure” and “reality principles,” “reversible perspective,” “shifting vertices,” “binocular vision,” “contact- barrier,” the replacement of “consciousness” and “unconsciousness” with infinity and finiteness, Bion’s use of models, his distinction between “mentalization” and “thinking,” as well as many other items.

James S. Grotstein is Professor of Psychiatry, UCLA School of Medicine, and a training and supervising analyst at the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute and at The Psychoanalytic Centre of California.


1) The Scope Of This Book; 2) What Kind of Analyst Was Bion?; 3) What Kind of Person Was Bion?; 4) Bion’s Vision; 5) Bion’s Legacy; 6) A Brief Summary of Bion’s Metatheory; 7) Bion on Technique; 8) Clinical Case Encompassing Bion’s Technical Ideas; 9) Bion, The Mathematician, Bion, The Mystic; 10) The Language of Achievement; 11) Bion’s Discovery of O; 12) The Concept of the “Transcendent Position”; 13) The “Quest for the Truth”: Part A: The “Truth Drive” as the Hidden Order of Bion’s Metatheory for Psychoanalysis; 14) Part B: “The Truth Drive” Curiosity About the Truth as the “Seventh Servant”; 15) Lies, “Lies,” And Falsehoods; 16) The Container and the Contained; 17) “Projective Transidentification”: An Extension of the Concept of Projective Identification; 18) Bion’s Work With Groups; 19) Bion’s Studies in Psychosis; 20) Transformations; 21) Learning From Experience; 22) The Breast, The “No-breast,” and the Point; 23) The Grid; 24) The Question of Fetal Mental Life and Its Caesura With Post-natal Mental Life; 25) What Does It Mean To Dream?” A Preliminary Note on Bion’s Theory of Dreaming; 26) “...Perchance To Dream...”: The Profounder Mission of Dreaming; 27) “Become”; 28) P-s to D; 29) L, H, and Passion; 30) Faith; 31) The Importance of Bion’s Discovery of Zero (‘No-thing”); 32) A Pot Pourri of Selected Contributions by Bion; 33) A Reading of Bion’s a Memoir of the Future; 34) Epilogue or the Book.

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