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Bion's War Memoirs is perhaps the most exceptional piece of autobiography yet written by a psychoanalyst. The first section of the book is documentary, consisting of the entire text of the diaries which Bion wrote as a young man to record his experiences on the Western Front in 1917-1919. The photographs and diagrams with which he illustrated his recollections are also reproduced here. The diaries are followed by two later essays in the second part in which he reflects upon his wartime experiences. These meditations are influenced by his psychoanalytic training, and perhaps also suggest how his approach to psychoanalysis was influenced by his war-time experiences. Together, these diaries and essays provide a most moving picture of war and its effects.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781855751538
ISBN-10: 1855751534
Format: Paperback
(230mm x 147mm x 19mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Karnac Books
Publisher: Karnac Books
Publish Date: 1-Jan-1997
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Wilfred R. Bion

Wilfred R. Bion (1897 -1979) was born in India and first came to England at the age of eight to receive his schooling. During the First World War he served in France as a tank commander and was awarded the DSO and the Legion of Honour. After reading history at Queen's College, Oxford, he studied medicine at University College London, before a growing interest in psychoanalysis led him to undergo training analysis with John Rickman and, later, Melanie Klein. During the 1940s his attention was directed to the study of group processes. Abandoning his work in this field in favor of psychoanalytic practice, he subsequently rose to the position of Director of the London Clinic of Psychoanalysis (1956-62) and President of the British Psychoanalytical Society (1962-65). From 1968 he worked in Los Angeles, returning to England two months before his death in 1979. A pioneer in group dynamics, he was associated with the 'Tavistock group', the group of pioneering psychologists that founded the Tavistock Institute in 1946 on the basis of their shared wartime experiences. He later wrote the influential 'Experiences in Groups', an important guide for the group psychotherapy and encounter group movements beginning in the 1960s, and which quickly became a touchstone work for applications of group theory in a wide variety of fields. Bion's training included an analysis with Melanie Klein following World War II. He was a leading member in the Kleinian school while in London, but his theories, which were always based in the phenomena of the analytic encounter, eventually revealed radical departures from both Kleinian and Freudian theory. While Bion is most well known outside of the psychoanalytic community for his work on group dynamics, the psychoanalytic conversation that explores his work is concerned with his theory of thinking and his model of the development of a capacity for thought.

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