Psychoanalysis with Wilfred R. Bion is the product of François Lévy’s efforts over a period of twenty years to represent clearly the classical elements and the innovatory propositions of the thought and work of Bion, who offers both new and modified ways of practising and thinking about the psychoanalytic experience.
Bion’s thought, methodical and intuitive, gave rise to profound modifications in the approach to the psychology of groups, clinical work with psychoses, and the conception of the genesis of thought. Some of his original notions – psychic growth, processes of thinking, transformations, alpha function, maternal reverie – constitute valuable tools for rethinking psychoanalytic practice. This book places Bion’s thought within a filiation that is faithful to those of Sigmund Freud and Melanie Klein. It shows the parallels that exist between Bion’s formalisations and those of Lacan. It also lays emphasis on the mechanisms of thought arising from the negative (André Green), from logic (Lewis Carroll), from causalist philosophy (David Hume), from literature (Milton, Blanchot) and from the physical sciences (Stephen Hawking). Finally, Lévy underlines the importance of placing individuals within the collective from which they have originated.
Psychoanalysis with Wilfred R. Bion will appeal to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists looking to draw on the ideas of one of the most important and influential figures in the history of psychoanalysis.
"Working with François Lévy in Paris for nearly 20 years, I have been able to appreciate his profound knowledge of Bion's writings that is witnessed now by the book published in its English translation. I recommend it to all interested in a deeper understanding of Bion's work." – Gianna Williams, former Director, Observation Course, Tavistock Clinic
"François Lévy conveys readers his enthusiasm for breaking into the Bionian universe, an expanding universe that has its starting point in Freud and Klein’s ideas. For the author, the justification of the book is to 'represent a container with the purpose of revealing the content that made it'. It is undoubtedly an important contribution to those interested in Bion's ideas." – Celia Fix Korbivcher, member, Brazilian Society of Psychoanalysis; author, Autistic Transformations: Bion’s Theory and Autistic Phenomena (Routledge, 2013)
"Bion’s profound influence and groundbreaking ideas on the theory and practice of clinical psychoanalysis over the past sixty years have been widely investigated by psychoanalysts and psychotherapists around the world. François Lévy’s book provides us with a thought-provoking opportunity to encounter a French elaboration of Bion's thinking. But as the book unfolds it becomes clear that it goes far beyond this. We follow the intriguing path that Lévy has carved out over fifteen years of rigorous investigation of Bion's writing. He shares with us his fascination with the essence of Bion's central work and the transformations that this in-depth study of Bion's ideas have enabled him to discover and treasure. Psychoanalysis with Wilfred Bion is an important addition to any serious endeavor to profoundly grasp Bion’s outstanding contribution and wide-ranging influence on psychoanalytic theory and practice." --Ofra Eshel, faculty, training and supervising analyst of the Israel Psychoanalytic Society; head of the post-graduate track "Independent Psychoanalysis: Radical Breakthroughs", Tel-Aviv University; author of The Emergence of Analytic Oneness: Into the Heart of Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2019).
Table of Contents
THE GRID; OVERTURE: Taking the trouble to get into the book 1 Changes of perspective 2 Hostile and friendly life 3 Emotional experience and alpha-function 4 The negative at work 5 The genesis and development of thought 6 The rejection of causation 7 Transformations, or reality in analysis 8 The group and psychoanalysis, survival or destruction? CONCLUSION
About the Author
François Lévy is a psychoanalyst and member of the Société de Psychanalyse Freudienne (SPF), Paris, France. He has authored many articles as well as the preface for the French edition of Bion’s Clinical Seminars. He has run a teaching seminar on Bion’s work for more than two decades in Paris.