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Mawson, C. (2017). Interpretation as Freud's Specific Action, and Bion's Container-Contained. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(6):1519-1532.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(6):1519-1532

Psychoanalytic Theory and Technique

Interpretation as Freud's Specific Action, and Bion's Container-Contained

Chris Mawson

(Accepted for publication 16 August 2016)

This is a paper showing how a concept central to the work of Wilfred Bion, and one of Klein's important recommendations concerning the practice of analysis with adults and small children, can both be seen in the light of Freud's earliest formulation of the origin of anxiety and the mother's first responses to her infant in distress. In the paper I suggest that these clinically influential concepts of Klein and Bion show an underlying consistency and affinity with Freud's early ideas about the management of anxiety in the mother-infant relationship, described in two of his pre-psychoanalytic writings, How Anxiety Originates (1894b), and The Project for a Scientific Psychology (1950 [1895]). The specific mode of operation of psychoanalytic interpretation is clarified by the comparisons made, with no attempt to suggest that Klein or Bion based their concepts upon these particular early formulations of Freud's.

[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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