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Kernberg, O.F. Ahumada, J.L. (2000). Bion, A Binocular View: Groups and Individuals. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(5):991-994.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(5):991-994

Bion, A Binocular View: Groups and Individuals

Otto F. Kernberg and Jorge L. Ahumada

The Moderator, Otto F. Kernberg, stressed Bion's growing influence, saying that although his concepts and findings had been subject at first to the splits of idealisation and rejection, now most schools used at least some of them. Thus, his ideas on group process permeated psychoanalytic understanding of groups in the United States, and Kernberg's own notions on severe personality disorders had been moulded, he said, by the technical ideas of Second Thoughts (1967) and Attention and Interpretation (1970).

Kernberg went on to say that when we focus on the ‘binocular view’ of psychic reality and external reality, on the unconscious group modality or group culture on the one hand and the conscious view-points, observations and actions of individuals in the group on the other, a dynamic unfolds between the collaborative function of the ‘work group’, as opposed to the unconscious activation of the basic assumptions group of ‘dependency’, ‘fight-flight’ and ‘pairing’, which, of course, has its equivalet dynamics at the individual level.

The ‘selected fact’, said Kernberg, was Bion's basic technical instrument, in groups as well as in psychoanalysis. He went beyond Fenichel's metapschology of interpretation, which was centred on three viewpoints: economic (the main instinctual investment and the dominant transference identification), dynamic (approaching the surface, the defence side, before focusing on the impulse) and structural (tending, in general, to formulate interpretations from the side of the observing ego).

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