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By Bion, Wilfred Ruprecht; Cartwright, Duncan; Bion, Wilfred Ruprecht

ISBN-10: 1583918787

ISBN-13: 9781583918784

ISBN-10: 1583918795

ISBN-13: 9781583918791

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Extra resources for Containing states of mind : exploring Bion’s ’container model’ in psychoanalytic psychotherapy

Example text

Where the figurative boundaries lie would depend on how objects separate and interact to generate dynamic qualities. Third, as a model of change, the container-contained configuration implies the acceptance of what could be called a necessary or ‘forced’ asymmetry between objects for change (destructive or growth promoting) to occur: one object has to assume the containing or background position in order for the other to be ‘contained’. This appears to represent a distinguishing feature of Bion’s model of change contributing particular qualities to the dialectical relationship between container and contained.

To this end, in Chapter 7 I return to the idea of ‘forced asymmetry’ and how this plays itself out in ‘modes of relating’ between container-contained that can be applied to understanding core organizing phantasies between therapist and patient. Key features of the container model Some introduction is required to the way I conceptualize the container model throughout the book and some of the key dilemmas and issues this presents. I consider the container to be part of an analytic field where it finds representation at different levels of psychic experience.

In Chapter 5, I explore the importance of ‘passion’ and the subjectivity of the analyst’s interpretive stance in making ‘containing’ interpretations. It could be said that the apparent need to bear unpleasure, to think about it so as to afford psychological growth, is more easily avoided in our era of high technology. Cyberspace and high-tech gadgets seem to easily become repositories for split-off parts of the self. Such opportunities appear to make it easier to mimic and simulate experience rather than ‘suffer it’.

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Containing states of mind : exploring Bion’s ’container model’ in psychoanalytic psychotherapy by Bion, Wilfred Ruprecht; Cartwright, Duncan; Bion, Wilfred Ruprecht


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