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Szykierski, D. (2010). The Traumatic Roots of Containment: The Evolution of Bion's Metapsychology. Psychoanal Q., 79(4):935-968.

(2010). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 79(4):935-968

The Traumatic Roots of Containment: The Evolution of Bion's Metapsychology

Dorit Szykierski

W. R. Bion wrote repeatedly about his World War I experiences as a tank officer, thus engaging in historicizing a traumatic emotional experience. A close reading of the many layers in these writings suggests that the war experiences influenced the metapsychology he created. The author argues that haunting questions regarding the ability of the mind to survive trauma led Bion to elaborate on the process of containing emotional experience, and hence to address the lack of an intricate theory of thinking in psychoanalytic metapsychology and to offer a vision of a mind struggling to survive, culminating in the growth of a postmodern consciousness.

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