Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To see translations of this article…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When there are translations of the current article, you will see a flag/pennant icon next to the title, like this: 2015-11-06_11h14_24 For example:

2015-11-06_11h09_55

Click on it and you will see a bibliographic list of papers that are published translations of the current article.  Note that when no published translations are available, you can also translate an article on the fly using Google translate.

 

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Billow, R.M. (1999). LHK: The Basis of Emotion in Bion's Theory. Contemp. Psychoanal., 35(4):629-646.

(1999). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 35(4):629-646

LHK: The Basis of Emotion in Bion's Theory

Richard M. Billow, Ph.D.

WHILE BION'S WORK continues to inspire contemporary psycho-analysts, his ideas on human emotion get little attention and are not well known. Bion was not a systematic writer, and the scope of his thinking is not immediately or easily accessible. As he developed his own metapsychology, he often did not delineate when and how he was challenging or modifying the grand metapsychologies of Freud and Klein. He also introduced the Grid and a system of mathematical and alphabetical symbols, the latter exemplified by the subject of this essay: LHK (the basis of emotion). His intentions included offering a shorthand for his metapsychology, to make his ideas accessible, flexible, and practical for the working analyst.

Bion posited three primary emotions: the urge to love, the urge to hate, and the urge to seek knowledge (particularly emotional knowledge), notated, respectively, as “L,” “H,” and “K.” These rudimentary emotions are primitive psychic stimuli — the constitutional or instinctual givens — which the individual brings to his or her experience. The analyst may observe how both patient and analyst struggle with these emotions as they emerge within the psychoanalytic situation, often vaguely at first, and without coherence, to be transformed by mental functioning into symbols, nameable affects or feelings, and thoughts.

Bion (1967a) admonished the analyst to eschew “memory and desire,” to participate within each hour with a minimum of intellectual and emotional assumptions. He also advocated intellectual exercises however: introspective squiggle games played with signs and symbols rather than lines. The symbolic shorthand, LHK, could be used by the analyst to identify and think about the emerging emotions. Playing with Bion's metapsychological constructs could provide an antidote for such therapist-based

—————————————

The author thanks Dr. Charles Raps for his clear thinking and editorial feedback regarding several versions of the manuscript.

- 629 -

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2018, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.