On Mental Growth: Bion's Ideas that Transform Psychoanalytical Clinical Practice

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Psychoanalysis is indebted to Bion for some of its most original moments. He took it to its limits, establishing a dialogue with other disciplines and integrating the arts and sciences. This dialogue generated innovating questions that transformed the psychoanalitical technique. Bion conceived of the mind as a universe expanding, and psychoanalysis as a powerful, disruptive idea. His hypotheses significantly developed psychoanalytical clinical practice through its transformative model of mental growth. Bion extended our understanding of protomental and pre-natal phenomena, the mysterious transformations in hallucinosis, and the role of psychoanalytical intuition.

Psychoanalysis needs to include and incorporate emotional experiences that cannot immediately be apprehended by the senses, just as post-Newtonian physics has come to access infrasensorial phenomena. The Copernican revolution that Bion introduced is implied in his ideas of catastrophic change, transformation, and 'at-one-ment', which imply a new conception of analysis - not only as a process towards knowing oneself but also to be in 'at-one-ment' with what one is becoming. The chapters containing theoretical and abstract notions are followed by discussions of contemporary film, used as clinical illustration. The final chapter, concerning the primitve mind in Bion, has an original approach with its elaboration of the concept of 'tropisms'.

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