Wilfred R. Bion is considered as a ground breaking psychoanalyst. His thinking is rooted in Freud and Klein from where it takes an original flight. Reading Bion shows the evolution of his seminal insights in psychic functioning and puts them in a wider context.
Rudi Vermote integrates a chronological close reading and discussion of Bion’s texts, with a comprehensive approach of his major concepts. The book is divided in two main parts:
• Transformation in Knowledge: Bion’s odyssey to understand psychic processing or the mind
• Transformation in O in which he reinterprets his former concepts from the dimension of the unknown and unknowable
The running text is put against a background of biographical data and scientific, artistic and philosophical influences on his work, which are highlighted in boxes and separate chapters. Bion’s concepts are important for anyone dealing with the mind. His ideas have an on-going deep impact on psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and psychopathology. His concepts help to understand psychic change, creativity, individual psychodynamics and small and large group phenomena. The discovery of their value for studies on art, literature, sociology, religion, economics has just begun.
Reading Bion starts from the very beginning so that it is instructive for people who are new to his work, but the close reading and background information make it also a meaningful companion for experienced psychoanalysts and psychotherapists studying his work.
Table of Contents:
How to read this book?
Situating this book between other books on the work of Bion
Some impressions of Bion as a person
Bion versus Freud, Klein, Winnicott, Jung, Lacan
Philosophical background of Bion’s psychoanalytic epistemology
PART I: BEFORE THE CAESURA: TRANSFORMATIONS IN KNOWLEDGE
Biography 1897 - 1966
Experiences in Groups and Other Papers (1961)
Papers on psychosis (1953-1960)
Learning from Experience (1962)
Elements of Psychoanalysis (1963)
PART II: AFTER THE CAESURA: TRANSFORMATIONS IN O
Biography 1966 - 1979
Second Thoughts: ‘Commentary’ on the Selected Papers on Psychoanalysis (1967)
Attention and Interpretation (1970)
A Memoir of the Future (1977)
Lectures and Seminars (1973-1979)
The further development of Bion’s ideas
Bion by J. Grotstein
My indebtedness to Bion by A. Ferro
Discovering Bion: A Personal Memoir by HB Levine
About the Author:
Rudi Vermote, M.D., Ph.D., is a Training analyst and past president of the Belgian Society of Psychoanalysis and Professor at the University of Leuven. Published and lectures on Bion’s work. He is a Member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Honorary Member of the Psychoanalytic Center of California.