Reverie, Containment, and the Clinical Process
This course will examine the development of the radical intersubjectivity contained within Bion’s “Theory of Thinking,” his groundbreaking 1962 paper formally introducing two-person psychology, which reoriented psychoanalytic theory toward today’s intersubjective perspective. Drawing from Freud’s (1911) “Formulations on Two Principles of Mental Functioning,” Bion postulated two possibilities open to humans from infancy onward — thinking or projective identification — placing early parenting in the pivotal role of shaping the individual’s capacity to think or project. All of Bion’s later work revolved around the central question of the mechanisms whereby the individual can safely dwell in one’s own mind, beginning first by seeking refuge in the minds of primary caretakers through “normal” projective identification, and then by internalizing this capacity for reflective thinking — “alpha function.” We shall read works by Freud and Bion, with an eye toward phenomena in the consulting rooms of instructor and course participants.
At the conclusion of this course, participants will be able to:
- Describe the process of Bionian thinking, how it develops and its origins in the normal parent-child dyadic matrix.
- Describe the process of projective identification, its role in building the capacity to think, and the impact on the personality when projective identification becomes the principal means of making contact with the external world.
- Apply the concept of thinking to their understanding of the transference-countertransference matrix in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
- Apply the concepts of projective identification to their understanding of the transference-countertransference matrix in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
- Apply the concept of thinking and projective identification as described in the class to specific examples of their clinical work.
- Leichsenring, F., & Rabung, S. (2011). Long-term psychodynamic psychotherapy in complex mental disorders: update of a meta-analysis. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 199, 15-22.
- Maat, S. de, F. deJonghe, R. deKraker, et al. (2013). The current state of the empirical evidence for psychoanalysis: A meta-analytic approach. Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 21(3), 107–137.
- Divino, C. L. & Moore, M. S. (2010). Integrating neurobiological findings into psychodynamic therapy training and practice. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 20, 337-355.
Scott Lines, Ph.D., is a psychoanalyst and forensic psychologist in Berkeley, graduate of PINC, past president of NCSPP, and clinical faculty at CIIS, Access Institute, CPMC, TPI. Current writing includes malignant narcissism, a memoir of alcoholism in the family, and a musical theater piece on Jim Jones and Jonestown.
This intermediate course is for clinicians with moderate to extensive experience in clinical and academic work with some experience with psychoanalytical theories.
Enrollees who cancel at least SEVEN DAYS prior to the event date will receive a refund minus a $35 administrative charge. No refunds will be allowed after this time. Transfer of registrations are not allowed.