Learning from Experience

Author(s) : Wilfred R. Bion

Learning from Experience

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : 1984
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 128
  • Category :
    Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 2660
  • ISBN 13 : 9780946439058
  • ISBN 10 : 0946439052

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'As the problems raised in this book are fundamental to learning they have a long history of investigation and discussion. In phsycho-analytical practice, particularly with patients displaying symptoms of disorders of thought, it becomes clear that psycho-analysis has added a dimension to problems if not to their solution.

'This book deals with emotional experiences that are directly related both to theories of knowledge and to clinical psycho-analysis, and that in the most practical manner.'

- Wilfred R. Bion, from the Introduction

About the Author(s)

Wilfred R. Bion (1897 -1979) was born in India and first came to England at the age of eight to receive his schooling. During the First World War he served in France as a tank commander and was awarded the DSO and the Legion of Honour. After reading history at Queen's College, Oxford, he studied medicine at University College London, before a growing interest in psychoanalysis led him to undergo training analysis with John Rickman and, later, Melanie Klein. During the 1940s his attention was directed to the study of group processes. Abandoning his work in this field in favor of psychoanalytic practice, he subsequently rose to the position of Director of the London Clinic of Psychoanalysis (1956-62) and President of the British Psychoanalytical Society (1962-65). From 1968 he worked in Los Angeles, returning to England two months before his death in 1979.

A pioneer in group dynamics, he was associated with the 'Tavistock group', the group of pioneering psychologists that founded the Tavistock Institute in 1946 on the basis of their shared wartime experiences. He later wrote the influential Experiences in Groups, an important guide for the group psychotherapy and encounter group movements beginning in the 1960s, and which quickly became a touchstone work for applications of group theory in a wide variety of fields. Bion's training included an analysis with Melanie Klein following World War II. He was a leading member in the Kleinian school while in London, but his theories, which were always based in the phenomena of the analytic encounter, eventually revealed radical departures from both Kleinian and Freudian theory. While Bion is most well known outside of the psychoanalytic community for his work on group dynamics, the psychoanalytic conversation that explores his work is concerned with his theory of thinking and his model of the development of a capacity for thought.

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