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Bion, W.R. (1954). Notes on the Theory of Schizophrenia. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 35:113-118.

(1954). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 35:113-118

Notes on the Theory of Schizophrenia

W. R. Bion

A. Introduction

In this paper I shall discuss the schizophrenic patient's use of language and the bearing of this on the theory and practice of his analysis. At a later date I shall acknowledge my indebtedness to, and discuss the views of, the psycho-analysts who have contributed to the growth of my own views. I cannot do that now, but I must make it clear for the better understanding of what I say that, even where I do not make specific acknowledgement of the fact, Melanie Klein's work occupies a central position in my view of the psycho-analytic theory of schizophrenia. I assume that the explanation of terms such as 'projective identification' and the 'paranoid' and 'depressive positions' is known through her work.

By approaching the subject through consideration of verbal thought I run the risk of appearing to neglect the nature of the schizophrenic's object relations. I must therefore emphasize now that I think that the peculiarity of the schizophrenic's object relations is the outstanding feature of schizophrenia. The importance of the points that I wish to make lies in their capacity to illuminate the nature of this object relationship of which they are a subordinate function.

The material is derived from the analysis of six patients; two were drug addicts, one an obsessional anxiety state with schizoid features, and the remaining three schizophrenics all of whom suffered from hallucinations which were well in evidence over a period of between four and five years of analysis.

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