BOOKS

On the Daily Work of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (2018) is an operating manual for the challenging, often lonely and confusing work of doing therapy.

 

Defining Psychoanalysis: Achieving a Vernacular Expression (2016) provides a close reading of the most important papers in the contemporary psychoanalytic library, including three “strong” readings by Winnicott and two by Bion. It pursues the elements generated by these papers as an indication of contemporary psychoanalytic “common sense”, our consensual building blocks of theory and practice.

On Minding and Being Minded (2015) explores links between depictions of lived experience written by Samuel Beckett and the experience of psychoanalytic psychotherapy pioneered in the writings of W.R. Bion. These robust literary and clinical intersections are made explicit within the demanding culture of twenty-first century psychotherapy as patient demand for time-limited, result-driven therapeutic outcomes conflicts sharply with the contours of intensive, long-term psychotherapy.

 

This book focuses on Samuel Beckett’s psychoanalytic psychotherapy with W. R. Bion as a central aspect both of Beckett’s and Bion’s radical transformations of literature and psychoanalysis. (2013)

 

Reviews and Endorsements:

This is an in-depth study of the famous relationship between Samuel Beckett and Wilfred Bion. Beckett had been Bion’s psychoanalytic therapy case (his first) for only two years, but a “psychic twinship” seems to have developed between them which may have unconsciously lasted both their lifetimes. In fact, Bion used him as his first psychoanalytic presentation, “the Imaginary Twin”. The continuation of the “twinship” appeared in the subject matter of the published works of each: sophisticated psychoanalytic themes especially about the intimate nature of relationships. From their extensive research, especially utilizing Beckett’s recently published correspondence, the authors hypothesize that Beckett and Bion were instrumental in launching the post-modern age in their respective fields. Moreover, they also believe that they were thematically paralleling one another, Beckett experimenting with fictionalized psychoanalytic novellas and Bion with Psychoanalytic Field Theory (Container↔ Contained), the psychoanalytic theory of the indivisible nature of the couple, as contrasted with the one-person analyst model of Positivism.

This is a very fine work, one which should be read by anyone with an interest in the interface of literature and psychoanalysis.

– James Grotstein, author of A Beam of Intense Darkness: Wilfred Bion’s Legacy to Psychoanalysis and But at the Same Time and on Another Level.