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Alexander, R.P. (2005). On: Experiences in K and −K. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 86(5):1477-1478.

(2005). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 86(5):1477-1478

On: Experiences in K and −K Related Papers

Richard P. Alexander

While Dr Schneider deserves great credit for the courage and understanding he demonstrates in his treatment of his patient Ms N, and she is no doubt fortunate to have found such a sturdy and compassionate analyst, I feel that he is giving the reader an erroneous impression of what Bion wished to convey by the term ‘−K’. Even though in his describing −K in the last chapter of Bion (1962), as being limited to ‘one factor only—Envy’, this in no way changes the fact that Bion wanted −K to be understood as being a destructive process which is harmful to mental growth. This point is made further clear in Bion (1963), where he adds the negative process −PS↔ and relates it to ‘disintegration’ and ‘depressive stupor’ along with ♂♀, showing also here the relationship of these negative forms to the concept of ‘reversible perspective’ (1963, pp. 52-63), which he demonstrates acts to ward off any possibility of the patient being exposed to the truth of one's pain.

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