Building on Bion: Branches: Contemporary Developments and Applications of Bion's Contributions to Theory and Practice

Building on Bion: Branches: Contemporary Developments and Applications of Bion's Contributions to Theory and Practice

Building on Bion: Branches: Contemporary Developments and Applications of Bion's Contributions to Theory and Practice

Building on Bion: Branches: Contemporary Developments and Applications of Bion's Contributions to Theory and Practice

Synopsis

The enduring influence of Bion's work --the many rich applications of his ideas to group therapy, group dynamics and organizational dynamics in the present day and looking to the future--is the central theme of this book. Chapters by distinguished international contributors from the fields of psychoanalysis, group analysis, management consultancy and social science cover work with large groups, Bion and the Tavistock conferences, and his ideas about thinking and learning, dreams and mentality.

Excerpt

Bion's (1961a) 'A Psycho-analytic theory of thinking,' which represented an epistemological harvest of his findings on schizophrenic thought disorder, became the bedrock and launching pad for his future explorations in mental functioning. Interestingly, he published an updated version of his Experiences in Groups in the same year, from which fact we can glean that he was involved with epistemology from the psychoanalytic point of view and was probably attempting to integrate his findings and conclusions there with his ideas about groups. These efforts would converge in a reformulation of the group process with his concept of the 'messiah' or 'genius' in Attention and interpretation (Bion 1970).

In the meanwhile, however, his application of psychoanalytic concepts to groups, particularly splitting and projective identification, found their way from the original small group to larger mid-sized groups and to the large groups, the last of which came to be known as the 'Tavistock Group.' Mark Ettin (Chapter 1) describes the differences between these groups. He makes the following statement: 'The Tavistock Group…more readily stimulates a group unconscious process by inducing members to associate to the shared predicament at the level of primary (basic assumptive) as well as secondary (work group) processes… the median groupon the other hand seeks tocultivate the . . .

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