On Minding and Being Minded: Experiencing Bion and Beckett



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On Minding and Being Minded explores links between depictions of lived experience written by Samuel Beckett and the experience of psychoanalytic psychotherapy pioneered in the writings of W.R. Bion. These robust literary and clinical intersections are made explicit within the demanding culture of twenty-first century psychotherapy as patient demand for time-limited, result-driven therapeutic outcomes conflicts sharply with the contours of intensive, long-term psychotherapy.

Bion and Beckett present elements of familiarity to the practicing psychoanalyst which emerge tantalizingly, out of explicit reach, yet become knowable through interpersonal engagement. These stutterings and intimations are thick with meaning, suggestively presented in passing. They hint at how it is for the patient, provoking excitations of thinking; and, like the mental constructions of us all, their articulation conceals deep artistry.

On Minding and Being Minded provides a therapeutic link bridging the single session with multiple session psychotherapy focused upon the dynamic engagement of patient and therapist. This is the social workshop within which Bion's 'learning from experience' occurs. Not only does the analyst supply the requirements for its construction in provision of space, time, and boundary, but also bears in mind the psychoanalytic object itself, its feel, tang, and experiential shape, initially unknowable to the patient.
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