Bion in the Consulting Room: An Implicit Method of Clinical Inquiry

Author(s) : Joseph Aguayo, Author(s) : Robert Hinshelwood, Author(s) : Sira Dermen, Author(s) : Nicola Abel-Hirsch

Part of The Routledge Wilfred R. Bion Studies series - more in this series

Bion in the Consulting Room: An Implicit Method of Clinical Inquiry

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : July 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 192
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 97513
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032506333
  • ISBN 10 : 1032506334

Also by Sira Dermen

Also by Joseph Aguayo

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Bion in the Consulting Room addresses the long unanswered question of Bion’s clinical and supervisorial technique and examines the way Bion’s conceptual model and clinical practices informed his theoretical work.

As Bion wrote about technique so rarely, the authors set about looking at many of his clinical and supervisorial examples to infer what might be learnt from them. This book factors in the four distinctive periods of Bion's clinical and supervisorial work in chronological order: the group period of the 1940s; the period of the psychosis papers in the 1950s; the epistemological period of the early 1960s; and finally, the period of his international group seminars in the late 1960s and 1970s. In all four periods, the authors examine and analyse his method of clinical enquiry, or how he went about knowing and experiencing his analysands and supervisees. The authors offer a uniquely overarching view of his method of clinical enquiry, uncovering an amazing consistency in how Bion went about his work both as a psychoanalyst and supervisor.

This illuminating book is essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and psychologists interested in the work of Wilfred Bion and the importance of his legacy in contemporary practice.

Table of Contents


1. Working Clinically with Groups
2. Tracing the Clinical Trajectory and Technical Relevance of Bion’s Cases and Theorizing from the ‘Psychosis’ Period—(1950-1957)
3. The Psychosis Papers, (1958-1959)
4. Clinical Restlessness: The 1960s
5. Wilfred Bion’s Clinical Seminars in North and South America and Europe—1967-1978: A Clinical Method of Enquiry as an Implicit Theory of Psychoanalytic Technique
6. The Brazilian Clinical Seminars
7. Conclusions on Bion’s Method of Clinical Enquiry: Similarities and Differences

About the Author(s)

Joseph Aguayo is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California in West Los Angeles. He is a Guest Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London, and holds UCLA doctorates in both Clinical Psychology and European History. His most recent projects are co-edited publications, including Wilfred Bion: Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision, (Karnac Books, 2013). He has a forthcoming full-length book review on Bion’s Complete Works in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis.

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Robert Hinshelwood is professor emeritus at the University of Essex, and previously clinical director at the Cassel Hospital, London. He is a fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and a fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He authored A Dictionary of Kleinian Thought in 1989, and Clinical Klein in 1994. A long-time advocate of alternative psychiatry, he was a founding member of The Association of Therapeutic Communities in 1974; and in 1980 he founded, with colleagues, The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities. He was involved in the Psychoanalysis and Public Sphere conferences in the 1980s and 1990s, and he has contributed each year to the Psychoanalysis and Political Mind Seminars. He has been a member of the Labour Party for fifty years.

Sira Dermen is a training and supervising analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She is Honorary Senior Consultant at the Portman Clinic and is in full-time private practice. She has written on violence and perversion.

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Nicola Abel-Hirsch is a training analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and works in full-time psychoanalytical practice. She has given theoretical and clinical papers on Bion in the UK; Taiwan (annually 2005–2012); the USA; and Europe. From 2013 to 2015 she was the visiting professor at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. She is the author of Bion: 365 Quotes (2019), and editor of Hanna Segal’s last book Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (2007). Under the auspices of Understanding Primitive Mental States NYC, she chairs an ongoing series of seminars on Bion’s later lectures, seminars and supervisions.

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