Bion in Brazil: Supervisions and Commentaries, edited by Jose Americo Junqueria de Mattos, Gisele de Mattos Brito, and Howard B. Levine, Karnac, London, 2017, 262pp.
“Where now, who now, when now?” These are fundamental questions of psychological orientation, interpreted through the words of Samuel Beckett (Beckett, 2006, p. 285). Wilfred Bion goes a step beyond and leans upon the doggerel of Rudyard Kipling in discerning seven such signposts, useful for thinking oneself into the aliveness of the human condition: what, why, when, how, where, who and the “I” that integrates them all (Bion, 1978).
Often, today, W.R. Bion is read as a “mystical,” somewhat oracular clinician/writer. Indeed, Bion’s approach to the questions framing the psychoanalyst’s worldview might suggest to us the Delphic presence he explicitly names (pp. 15–16). Bion’s descriptive prose often confounds the reader’s imagination, but it fundamentally also extends a task-driven perspective that melds methodological rigor with profoundly sensitive pliability, or what Ferenczi long before, located in compassionate provision toward understanding patients, seeking what ailed them, no...
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