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Lament, C. (2015). A Misuse of Bion's “Reverie-ing Mother” Another Weapon in the War against Women as Waged in the Consulting Room. Psychoanal. St. Child, 69:59-82.

(2015). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 69:59-82

A Misuse of Bion's “Reverie-ing Mother” Another Weapon in the War against Women as Waged in the Consulting Room

Claudia Lament, Ph.D.

“The war against women” is a systemic process of discrimination that seeks to subjugate women. In this essay, I will critically examine a contemporary paper, published in a well-known psychoanalytic journal, that views the patient through the lens of Bion's “reverie-ing mother” concept. I argue that leaning upon any particular theory to explain an individual's complex psychological disturbance adheres to a reductionistic line of reasoning that falls prey to the genetic fallacy; interpreting psychological phenomena in this way becomes a myopically focused perch that narrows the clinician's range of vision in scanning the field for other features that influenced the patient's symptomatology and suffering. It defies what we know about the reorganizational potential of the developmental trajectory wherein early features undergo significant change over the course of growth. Within the context of the war against women, such a constrained perspective places the onus of responsibility upon the mother, making her the “whipping boy” for her child's difficulties. Within a blink of an eye, she turns into the embodiment of the trope of the “bad mother.” The consequence of misusing a way of thinking about the early mother-child relationship has the unfortunate effect of promoting the war in our current Zeitgeist.

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