Containment, Organisations and the Working Task

Editor : Tiago Mendes, Editor : R.D. Hinshelwood

Containment, Organisations and the Working Task

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : July 2024
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 226
  • Category :
    Organisational Psychology
  • Catalogue No : 97735
  • ISBN 13 : 9781138505131
  • ISBN 10 : 1138505137
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With close attention to Wilfred Bion's influence on the literature about groups and organisations, this book explores how containment has been transposed from the clinical setting to enlighten the work being carried out by psychodynamic practitioners and researchers, especially within organisations.

In the first part, contributors explore the origins of containment, comparing and contrasting it with akin concepts such as holding. A second part is devoted to addressing the implications of utilising psychoanalytic ideas beyond the couch and bringing them to the social field of groups and organisations. The early days of such ideas, as well as the wide range of methods applied, are also addressed in this section with the aim of giving the reader a more comprehensive base for the application of psychoanalytic knowledge. Finally, part three provides a detailed view of the different applications of containment in consulting, leadership, therapeutic communities and group relations.

Drawing on their own experiences, the authors highlight how psychoanalytic concepts impact their own practice, contributing to a collection that will prove essential for psychoanalysts, managers, policymakers, consultants and researchers in a wide range of professional and clinical settings.

Reviews and Endorsements

Organisations stand between the individual and the intense pressures of our global society. None of us can make sense of the world by ourselves; we need others and a shared task. This thoughtful book explores how organisations make collective work possible, make the irrational more manageable—and how they can fail us. "Containment" is a code word for all of this, and this wide-ranging exploration is essential reading for leaders, scholars, and the rest of us who are trying to make sense of the organisational worlds we are so desperately trying to improve.'
Edward R. Shapiro, MD, author, Finding a Place to Stand: Developing Self-Reflective Institutions, Leaders, and Citizens

This is a bold, surprising and very well organised book. Written simply, but at the same time with great rigour and depth, it follows in the great tradition of the British school of psychoanalysis, which has inspired and enriched the learning of many clinicians and mental health researchers. It also has the merit of being an excellent manual of applied psychoanalysis. Bob Hinshelwood and Tiago Mendes integrate complex knowledge and, in an almost pedagogical way, show us how it is possible to extend clinical elaborations to very diverse fields of human behaviour and the dynamics of social organisations. Well framed historically and theoretically, this book allows the reader to follow the creative development of a long research endeavour, which is of interest to all those involved in the vast field of social science.
Rui Aragão, psychoanalyst, former president of the Portuguese Psychoanalytic Society

Having long appreciated the contribution Wilfred Bion has made to the understanding of individuals, groups and organisations, I have also sometimes struggled to grasp the full depth and breadth of his insights and contributions. Therefore, I found this book very helpful in increasing my understanding of and high regard for him and the profound influence he has had upon the psychodynamic understanding of people and organisations. In particular, this book sets out its explorations and explications from the ground of Bion's theory of containment and the evolution from which it enabled growth and extension into other fields. Contributors support readers to think and reflect upon these concepts and approaches that assist greater understandings and helpful interventions with individuals, groups, organisations and even beyond into communities. I commend this book to all with a curiosity and desire to strengthen positive interventions into the lives and work of people, groups, organisations and communities.
Richard Rollinson, former director of the Mulberry Bush Therapeutic School in Oxfordshire and trustee since 2014, consults government departments and organisations in the UK, Ireland and Portugal

Table of Contents

Louisa Diana Brunner


Part I: Conceptual Origins and (Dis)Entanglements: Even Ideas Have Origins
1. The Antecedents and Development of Container-Contained
R. D. Hinshelwood

2. Emotional Containment and Emotional Regulation
Nuno Torres and Tiago Mendes

3. On Containment and Holding—A Short Introductory Note
Tiago Mendes

Part II: Psychoanalysis Beyond the Couch
4. The Early Days of the Tavistock Institute
Alice White

5. Researching the Unconscious in Organisations
Kalina Stamenova and Tiago Mendes

6. Operationalisation of Concepts in Psychoanalytic Research
Gillian Walker

7. Cultural Differences Between Groups
R. D. Hinshelwood

Part III: Applications
8. If Only We Could Contain Emotions: A Contribution to an Overview of the Application of Containment to Organisations
Tiago Mendes

9. An Empirical Approach to Disentangle Intertwined Concepts
Tiago Mendes

10. Organisational Research and Consulting and the Idea of Containment
Susan Long

11. Dancing Between the Contained and the Container and their Reciprocal Relatedness in Group Relations
Richard Morgan-Jones

12. Leadership and Containment
Stanley Gold

13. Father, Mother and the Guinea Pig Children
John Diamond

14. The Challenge of Containment: A Psychoanalytic-Systemic Approach
Avi Nutkevitch

About the Editor(s)

Tiago Mendes is a psychologist who holds an MBA (Rice University, US) and a PhD in Psychoanalytic Studies (University of Essex, UK). Tiago started his career working with vulnerable adolescents in residential childcare. Since then, he has given consultations to a wide range of organisations, focusing especially on the child protection field in Portugal. Tiago also provides training courses at university level for professionals working in residential childcare.

R.D. Hinshelwood is a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and currently holds the post of Professor of Psychoanalysis at the Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and previously was Clinical Director of the Cassel Hospital in Richmond. He is a past Chair of the Association of Therapeutic Communities. Professor Hinshelwood has written extensively on psychoanalysis and founded the International Journal of Therapeutic Communities (now Therapeutic Communities) in 1980 and the British Journal of Psychotherapy in 1984.

More titles by R.D. Hinshelwood

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