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Bion in New York and Sao Paulo

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A new 2019 edition, edited and introduced by Meg Harris Williams.These two talks given in 1977 and 1978 in New York and Sao Paulo respectively are an edited version of discussions and spontaneous contributions made by Bion, in the main without notes.'Leaving room for growth, promoting development, becoming a mental midwife: these are functions which Bion attributes to the analyst, the parent, the educator, who is concerned with enabling the patient, the child, the pupil, to develop through having a genuine experience of himself: an experience of feeling, of thinking based upon that feeling, and of attempting to formulate or take action upon these thoughts.''Thinking he regarded as a human activity still in its absolute infancy. The development of a capacity to think creatively, which might harness human passions in the service of development and wisdom, appeared to him as something of a race against time.''By "Yourself"he means the total person, body and mind, with its whole history, pre- and post-natal. His perception of the modes of expression of the Self became increasingly sharpened by observations which led him to his imaginative conjectures about the relationship between these two selves pre- and post-natal, within the same body.''If we stay, do not run away, go on observing the patient, after a time "a pattern will emerge". Discernment of that pattern, the wresting of some order from chaos, may result in mutually beneficial growth for both analyst and patient.''This is the Bion who sees analysis in the consulting room not as a refuge, but as a preparation for the real thing: for a richer and wiser mode of living in the world.'MARTHA HARRISfrom her obituary appreciation of Bion

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Section One: New York Seminars, 1977

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SECTION ONE

NEW YORK SEMINARS

1977

 

Section Two: São Paulo Seminars, 1978

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SECTION TWO

SAO PAULO SEMINARS

1978

 

Section Three: Three Tavistock Seminars, 1977

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SECTION THREE

THREE TAVISTOCK SEMINARS

1977

 

Appendix: Bion's Conception of a Psychoanalytical Attitude

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APPENDIX

Bion's conception of a psychoanalytical attitude1

Martha Harris

In considering Bion's contribution to clinical work, much could be said of how he used and extended, in his own inimitable way, some of the theories of Freud and of Melanie Klein in so far as he found that they illuminated the observations which he was able to make in the consulting room: thus carrying on the great tradition in psychoanalysis. A number of people have been studying his work at the Tavistock Clinic in the past few years with Donald Meltzer, and this has been expounded in the third volume of The Kleinian Development (1978).

I would like to select what is, for me, the most inspiring and liberating aspect of his conception of psychoanalysis. Although he believed that there is no substitute for undergoing an analytic experience in the sequestered but turbulent milieu of the consulting room, if one is bent upon exploring the mysteries of one's personality, Bion sees the discipline of psychoanalysis for analyst and patient alike, as aspiring to continue that great tradition of thinking in art, science and philosophy, which investigates not only the nature of the world in which we live, of human beings in that world, but also the mind of the observer, the thinker himself.

 

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