Bion in Buenos Aires
Seminars, Case Presentation and Supervision

Paper: 978 1 78220 520 3 / $53.95
Published: December 2017  

Publisher: Karnac Books
208 pp., 6" x 9"
These newly discovered clinical seminars of Wilfred Bion, which include supervisions, personal case presentations, and lectures on psychoanalytic theory, represent his initial foray into many years of work that have inspired South American analysts for nearly a half a century.

The clinical and theoretical work of Bion arguably ranks rather high in the current psychoanalytic firmament—as national and international conferences convene regularly to continue discussing the contemporary relevance of his work. His work has served as a source of inspiration to contemporary psychoanalysts in all three regions of the International Psychoanalytical Assocation—Ronald Britton, Antonino Ferro, Giuseppe Civitarese, Thomas Ogden, James Grotstein, and Paolo Sandler, just to name a few. These newly discovered clinical seminars from work Bion conducted in Buenos Aires in 1968 help us to further fill out the picture of his versatile gifts. In these seminars, we find lectures on Bion’s elaborations on his epistemological research—still on-going in the 1960s when he went to Buenos Aires; a lecture on the Grid and its clinical relevance.

But most importantly for analysts, new or old to Bion studies, is a centerpiece two-seminar, continuous case supervision conducted by Bion on the analytic work of Horacio Etchegoyen, then a relatively new student of Kleinian studies after being re-analyzed in London by Donald Meltzer. This supervision alone represents the single, longest supervision ever recorded of Bion. Other highlights include Bion’s own case presentation of a very difficult-to-treat borderline patient, something of a rarity in his published work, as Bion was generally disinclined to present his own case work. These clinical seminars are rounded out by other supervisions, Q and As with the audience of over 300 analysts who came from all parts of South America to hear this premier analyst in Buenos Aires.

Table of Contents:
About the editors
Foreword by R. D. Hinshelwood
Introduction by Joseph Aguayo and Lia Pistiner de Cortinas

art I: Bion’s clinical seminars
First seminar
A case vignette—countertransference—the analyst’s subjectivity as a factor in clinical technique—abandonment of memory and desire—audience questions
Second seminar
The nature of internal and external objects—the psychoanalytical model of Melanie Klein—projective identification—theory of container/contained—the mystic and the Establishment— Science and Christianity—audience questions
Third seminar
The Grid as an instrument to assess deterioration as well as evolution of thinking—how the Grid is used—the Grid’s use as a tool for discovering latent content—the analyst’s own Grid—doubts and scepticisms about the Grid— audience questions
Fourth seminar
Questions regarding normal development, civilised and primitive urges within a cultural container—the patient’s self-definition vis-à-vis the analyst’s definition of the problem—the survival of psychoanalysis—audience questions

Part II: Bion’s own analytic case presentation
Fifth seminar
Borderline patient with paranoid hysteria—negative therapeutic reaction—the question of transformations—role of interpretation—a victim of envy

Part III: Horacio Etchegoyen’s supervision with Bion
Sixth seminar
The initial phase of Mr B’s psychoanalytic treatment
The patient’s background history—initial phase of the analysis—first dreams—the patient’s internal anal universe—Bion’s assessment of the patient’s current state of mind—audience questions
Seventh seminar
Mr B’s psychoanalytic treatment in the following year
The problem of excessive projective identification—further dream analysis—the difference between the patient’s own model of mind vis-à-vis the analyst’s model of the patient’s mind—Mr B’s difficulties in paying for his analysis—audience questions

Part IV: Bion’s further supervisory work with other Argentinian analysts
Eighth seminar
An “in-the-moment” presentation of an adult analysand, all with no orienting background history—audience questions
Ninth seminar
The continuation of the case presentation—audience questions
Tenth seminar
Bion’s Analytical Supervision: Jorge, an adolescent analysand—audience questions
Eleventh seminar
The continuation of an adolescent case presentation—audience questions

Part V: Bion’s dialogue with the audience on questions about supervision
Twelfth seminar
Dr Bion’s supervisory comments—on the analyst’s capacities for observation, formulation, and interpretation—audience questions
Thirteenth seminar
Dr Bion’s supervisory comments—on questions regarding the patient’s repetition compulsion—symbiotic relationships—the analytic contract—audience questions