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Oliner, M.M. (2013). An Essay on Bion's Beta Function. Psychoanal. Rev., 100(1):167-183.

(2013). Psychoanalytic Review, 100(1):167-183

An Essay on Bion's Beta Function

Marion M. Oliner, Ph.D.

Among the major theorists studying the effect of the external world on the individual, none had a more ambiguous relationship to the psychic manifestations of the environment than Wilfred Bion. On the one hand his theory of the mind contained a new concept, beta elements, to depict the intrusion of the material world into the mental sphere, while on the other he radically opposed the use of sensory perception as a source for clinical insight. The author examines this dichotomy as an outgrowth of her interest in the place of external reality in psychoanalytic theory. As a result, this essay is an attempt to clarify the source for Bion's theorizing, in order to be more specific about the applicability of his concepts and his precepts.

[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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