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Gold, S. (2019). The Body of the Organisation and its Health, by Richard Morgan-Jones, with additional material by N. Torres & K. Dixon. London: Karnac, 2010.. Organ. Soc. Dyn., 19(1):129-131.

(2019). Organizational and Social Dynamics, 19(1):129-131

The Body of the Organisation and its Health, by Richard Morgan-Jones, with additional material by N. Torres & K. Dixon. London: Karnac, 2010.

Review by:
Stan Gold

The perceptive and clear overview in the Introduction by Olya Khaleelee brings into focus the key theme, viz, an exploration of the concept, protomental matrix which Bion defines as the basis from which basic group dynamics emerge (Bion, 1961). For Bion, protomentality is where what is emotional and what is physical cannot be distinguished. This becomes one of two central contributions adapted from Nuno Torres doctoral thesis (Chapter 3), which focuses on a previously little developed aspect of Bion's original group theory. The authors take us past basic assumptions, in both the general and Bionic sense, to questions which include: what else necessitates understanding, and how can we use past insights in a new and extended way? Specifically, Morgan-Jones has resurrected the issue of what lies “beneath” the concept “protomentality”, containing as it does, links between psyche, soma, and the social as an extension of Freud's id. The alternative is to remain with the platform of Basic Assumption Group and to endlessly explore their varieties, rather than asking, are the Basic Assumption Groups basic? (Gold, 2006).

I understand that this interesting and challenging book has not previously been reviewed. I can both understand and not understand why this may have been the case. It does not “make” one a better organisation consultant in five easy lessons. Rather it demands, but also offers, the opportunity for deeper reflection, taking the reader below the surface of some of the key theories and engagements that have populated systems psychoanalysis.

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