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Learning from Experience (Routledge Classics)

Learning from Experience (Routledge Classics)

Current price: $170.00
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Publication Date: September 28th, 2023
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Wilfred R. Bion was one of the foremost psychoanalysts of his generation, whose work has shaped and enriched psychoanalysis and psychotherapy indelibly. Renowned for some highly original and sometimes cryptic ideas, such as the alpha function and theory of the grid, Learning from Experience is arguably his most important and enduring work.

Bion brings knowledge into the psychoanalytic spotlight. What forces, he asks, interfere with knowledge? Crucially, Bion doesn't mean knowing only facts, but the lifelong process of understanding and coming to know things that is a consequence of the development of knowledge. However, Learning From Experience is perhaps best-known for its emphasis on the way emotion and knowledge are interwoven. Bion links the emotional capacity to develop and know to the capacity to tolerate frustration: if we can hold ourselves in check whilst we endure frustration, then we can come to know things.

A remarkable and brilliant work by a fascinating psychoanalyst and thinker, Learning From Experience continues to inspire psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

This Routledge Classics edition includes a new Foreword by Robert Hinshelwood.

About the Author

Wilfred R. Bion was born in India in 1897 and educated at Bishop's Stortford College in England. During World War One he served as a tank commander in France, and was awarded both the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) in 1918 for his actions at the Battle of Cambrai. Bion studied history at The Queen's College, Oxford, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1922, before studying medicine at University College London. Bion spent seven years in psychotherapeutic training at the Tavistock Clinic in London and in 1938 he began a training analyst. Interrupted by the advent of the Second World War, Bion was recommissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a lieutenant and worked in a number of military hospitals including Northfield Military Hospital, where he worked with shell-shocked soldiers. Returning to the Tavistock Clinic after the war, he underwent analysis with Melanie Klein. Working with patients with psychotic disorders, he produced a series of highly original and influential papers on the analysis of schizophrenia. In 1968, Bion moved to Los Angeles continuing his psychoanalytic work and supervising a number of psychoanalysts, including James Gooch and other founding members of the Psychoanalytic Center of California. He returned to Oxfordshire shortly before his death in 1979.