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Diamond, M.J. (2017). Growth and Turbulence in the Container/Contained: Bion's Continuing Legacy edited by Howard B. Levine and Lawrence J. Brown Routledge, London, 2013; 344 pp; $53.95 (paperback), $170 (hardback). Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(1):245-250.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(1):245-250

Book and Journal Reviews

Growth and Turbulence in the Container/Contained: Bion's Continuing Legacy edited by Howard B. Levine and Lawrence J. Brown Routledge, London, 2013; 344 pp; $53.95 (paperback), $170 (hardback)

Review by:
Michael J. Diamond

This proficiently edited book contains 15 original papers presented at the sixth International Bion Conference held in 2009 in Boston, as well as two newly written chapters - an introduction by Claudio Laks Eizirik and Howard Levine's concluding chapter. Papers were chosen to illuminate the richness of Bion's most generative concept, which I believe was accomplished for both Bionian and non-Bionian analysts alike. The international authors, in a lively and accessible manner, reflect and expand upon Bion's conception of the container/contained relationship and the accompanying turbulence and growth. In addition to exploring the development of the concept, its roots in Bion's personal life, and the place it occupies in his major theories, the collection of papers highlight the container/contained relationship's inevitable turbulence in the analytic encounter, early child development, and in artistic creations. Considering Bion's seminal writings on group experience, however, it is somewhat surprising that no paper addresses the containment concept in groups.

The book is composed of five sections addressing key aspects of the most cited author in psychoanalytic literature after Freud. The editors introduce each chapter's key ideas in a clear and straightforward manner so that the inclusion of Bionian terms and jargon is rather easily understood (though a glossary of terms would have made a helpful addendum). As a result, the application of the ideas - whether agreed with or not - is rendered clinically applicable for analysts working with more disturbed patients as well as with more primitive, psychic sectors of higher-functioning patients.

[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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