Bion, Foulkes and empathy


I am trying to show how we can make use of the insights of both Bion and Foulkes to create two vectors which have points of convergence and which help us to uncover the deeper truths which groups so often try to hide from themselves. The place of empathy, sympathy, compassion and pity continue to call for our attention. Human beings are capable of experiencing and acting upon those feelings; we also are capable of anihilating those feelings with the result that we become inhumane, arrogant, capable of horrific actions towards others whom we cease to regard as in any way being of the same common stuff as ourselves. Bion’s experiences in WW1 immersed him in the horrors of front-line warfare and he never ceased to draw on this experience in his exploration of primitive psychic processes. Foulkes did not undergo such trauma as he was behind the lines in Read more

sogno e gruppo

Dreams: are they personal or social?


The history and lineage of dreams is ancient, mysterious and revelatory. Dreams have been used for prophecy, fortune-telling, for access to the spirit world and for extending our vision beyond our diurnal limits. Ancient Greece sought healing through sleep and dreams; Bion asserts the psychotic hallucinates because he cannot dream, cannot use normal dream work; Kohut and self psychologists also see dreams as revealing the unconscious state of the self and giving the therapist an opportunity to aid in self-healing. In my experience, group members are soon able to feel themselves into the expressed dream of one of their members and to relate both to the dreams, to the group situation and to their own participation. Dreams are therefore both individual and social anddreamtime is a valuable time in which we can reconnect to ourselves and to the group matrix and through this to society of which each one of us is but a fragment.

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Notes on Space – time memory throught the dream


Dreams represent the activity of the unconscious mind that can transform and digest unbearable emotional states of mind into a “theatre of mind”. In this theatre, dreams play to the audience of the dreamer, want to be listened to and understood. Ella Freeman Sharpe, the English psychoanalyst, wrote that “the only dreamless state is death”. In group analysis, we recognise that the internal and external are always in flux, so in dreams we need to pay attention both to the social context in which the dream has occurred, and recognise Read more