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Eisold, K. (2005). Using Bion. Psychoanal. Psychol., 22(3):357-369.

(2005). Psychoanalytic Psychology, 22(3):357-369

Using Bion

Kenneth Eisold, Ph.D.

This article attempts to restore a dialogue that has been made difficult to conduct as a result of Bion's role as an established authority on groups and on thinking. Whereas his theory of “basic assumptions” presumes a fundamental level of group motivation, existing below social and interpersonal interactions, the work of Alderfer calls attention to the profound importance of “identity groups” in charting group behavior, and the work of Agazarian notes the fluid formations of “subgroups.” Similarly, Bion's theory of thinking appears rooted in biological processes beneath social interaction. Hamilton calls attention to the elements of ambiguity and play, stressed by Winnicott. Cavell, furthermore, notes the role of relationships and triangulation in the development of judgment, fundamental to thinking, a role stressed in current philosophy as well as infant-mother research. In both cases, Bion's theories are seen to neglect the role of interpersonal and social relationships in shaping behavior.

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