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Hinshelwood, R.D. (2012). Links and Perspectives on the Individual and the Group. Psychoanal Q., 81(3):589-600.

(2012). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 81(3):589-600

Links and Perspectives on the Individual and the Group

R. D. Hinshelwood

When two personalities meet, an emotional storm is created.

—Bion (1979, p. 247)

Bion regards the human being as essentially a group or political animal. He says that the human being is a group animal, at war both with the group and with those aspects of his own personality that constitute his “groupishness.” Yet he cannot exist without groups even if it be only the group he asserts he does not belong to or the internal group with which the solitary individual is in a dynamic relationship. Bion regards individual and group psychology as different ways of looking at the same phenomenon, group psychology illuminating aspects of the individual that may seem alien to individual psychology. He makes many references to this duality and the dilemma it creates for the individual.

—Menzies Lyth (1981, p.

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