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Morgan-Jones, R. (2009). The Body Speaks: Bion's Protomental System at Work. Brit. J. Psychother., 25(4):456-476.

(2009). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 25(4):456-476

The Body Speaks: Bion's Protomental System at Work1

Richard Morgan-Jones

Psychoanalysis has primarily explored somatic experience in relation to love and intimacy. This paper focuses on the body in relation to work. It explores the experience that what patients increasingly present for analysis are the traumas and pleasures of being caught up with and belonging to a body larger than their own, whether in a couple, a group, a work organization or the body politic. It begins with an exploration of Bion's idea of a relationship between protomentality and group disease. It goes on to consider what can be conceived of as his ecological methodology, which enables movement between different ‘fields of study’ (Bion 1962). These are applied to the health risks encountered by psychotherapists and the profession as a whole. Finally, there is a proposal for mentoring to address professional health, as an under-developed element in the profession.

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