Download e-book for iPad: Containing states of mind: exploring Bion's 'container by Duncan Cartwright

By Duncan Cartwright

Wilfred Bion’s insights into the analytic procedure have had a profound impact on how psychoanalysts and psychotherapists comprehend emotional switch and pathological psychological states. one among his such a lot influential rules matters the proposal that we want the minds of others to strengthen our personal emotional and cognitive capacities. In Containing States of brain Duncan Cartwright explores and develops the various implications that Bion’s box version has on scientific perform. He argues that the analyst or therapist top fulfils a containing functionality by way of negotiating irreconcilable inner tensions among his function as ‘dream item’ and ‘proper object’. The box version can also be used to demonstrate diverse ‘modes of interplay’ within the analytic box, the character of specific pathological states and a few of the main dilemmas confronted in trying to make insufferable psychological states extra bearable. in addition to addressing key theoretical difficulties, Containing States of brain is a scientific textual content that renders complicated rules available and valuable for psychotherapeutic and analytic perform and as such should be crucial analyzing for all these fascinated with the fields of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

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Here induction or transformation of the object occurs at a sensory motor level through gesturing, prompting, and the tone, prosody and rhythmic components of verbal interaction. The third aspect of this process occurs when 'hard-wired' capacities for empathic attunement activate similar phantasies in the receiving object. Recently, Grotstein (2005) has put forward the concept projective- transidentification to help clarify the subtle non-conscious aspects of this process: In projective transidentification, the analyst, upon experiencing the evocative or provocative induction (sensory, ultra-sensory, or even extrasensory) stimulus from the analysand, summons within himself those corresponding symmetrical phantasies that match the analysand's experience.

In other words, the individual projects into his or her internal image of the object. For example, the patient may project hate into a psychic representation of the therapist, turning the internal image into an aggressive and dangerous1 object. The effect this has on the other person, the therapist, as an external object, does not occur by virtue of an actual projection. A second phase occurs at an interpersonal level whereby the manipulation of the internal image sets in train a process of interpersonal 'nudging' or influencing that impacts the relationship so as to realize aspects of the patient's intrapsychic phantasy (Ogden, 1986; Grotstein, 2005).

We will return to this issue in discussing the role of interpretation in the containing process (Chapter 5). From this point of view, we might say that the patient begins to witness, mostly unconsciously, the therapist's struggle with difficult unknown experiences that mirror her own internal world. It is made more bearable through witnessing the therapist's implicit and inevitable communications that he remains engaged with this unarticulated aspect of himself. Brenman Pick (1995) indicates that the patient constantly monitors the therapist's movements in avoiding or engaging emotional turmoil and is very skilled in projecting into particular parts of the analyst that unconsciously elicit the desired feeling.

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