Second Thoughts: Selected Papers on Psycho-Analysis by W. R. Bion

By W. R. Bion

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Extra resources for Second Thoughts: Selected Papers on Psycho-Analysis

Sample text

T h e relationship with the analyst is premature, precipitate, and intensely dependent; when under pressure of his life and death instincts, the patient broadens the contact, two concurrent streams of phenomena become manifest. e. projective identification) becomes overactive, with consequent confusional states such as Rosenfeld (9) has described. Second, the mental and other activities by which the dominant impulse, be it of life or death instincts, strives to express itself, are at once subjected to mutilation by the temporarily subordinated impulse.

It may have occurred to you, as it often had to me, that I was watching a series of miniature dramatic presentations, preparations for a baby's bath or feed, or a change of nappies, or a sexual seduction. More often it would be correct to say that the presentation was a conglomeration of bits out of a number of such scenes, and it was this impression that led me finally to suppose that I was watching an ideomotor activity, that is to say a means of expressing an idea without naming it. From this it was a short step to think of it as the kind of motor activity which Freud had described as characteristic of the supremacy of the pleasure principle ( 1 ) .

T h e nature of this imprisonment will become clearer with the discussion of the fate of these expelled fragments, to which I now turn. In the patient's phantasy the expelled particles of ego lead to an independent and uncontrolled existence outside the personality, but either containing or contained by external objects, where they exercise their functions as if the ordeal to which they have been subjected has served only to increase their number and to provoke their hostility to the psyche that ejected them.

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