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After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

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Hurley, A. Bailey, T. (2012). Editorial. J. Child Psychother., 38(3):247-249.

(2012). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 38(3):247-249



Anne Hurley and Teresa Bailey

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of W.R. Bion’s Learning from Experience. In recognition of the profound influence of Bion’s work, this issue is dedicated to a celebration of the breadth and endurance of some of his key ideas across psychoanalytic work with children, parents, groups and organisations.

The first two articles by Suzanne Maiello and Louise Emanuel deal with early experience and Bion’s concept of containment is prominent in both. Maeillo’s paper examines the possibility of proto-experiences of the prenatal child in the context of Bion’s model of container/contained. These include auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic levels of awareness of the child in the womb to its environment and to the mother’s voice. The author hypothesises that the physical experiences of the foetus could have an emotional and psychological counterpart in the development of memory and a proto-mental container. Maiello explores thumb-sucking in utero as a way of thinking about a part-object model of container/contained. Also included is the description of the play of a three-year-old child and how an introjected configuration of container/contained can enable the development of both identity and the capacity for symbolic thought. This theme is also central in Louise Emanuel’s article, which describes therapeutic work within an Under Fives Service. She considers two clinical examples, a bereaved couple who lost their baby at six weeks and a three-year-old girl suffering from severe constipation, to explore the process of defensive evasion of separation through concrete means towards a more symbolic form of functioning.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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