Wilfred Bion
Wilfred Ruprecht Bion DSO
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 (8 September 1897 – 8 November 1979) was an influential British psychoanalyst
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

, who became president of the British Psychoanalytical Society
British Psychoanalytical Society
The British Psychoanalytical Society was founded by the British psychiatrist Ernest Jones as the London Psychoanalytical Society on October 30, 1913....

 from 1962 to 1965.

Bion has been twinned with Jacques Lacan
Jacques Lacan
Jacques Marie Émile Lacan was a French psychoanalyst and psychiatrist who made prominent contributions to psychoanalysis and philosophy, and has been called "the most controversial psycho-analyst since Freud". Giving yearly seminars in Paris from 1953 to 1981, Lacan influenced France's...

 as "inspired bizarre analysts...who demand not that their patients get better but that they pursue Truth". 'Bion's ideas are highly unique', so that he 'remained larger than life to almost all who encountered him'. He has been considered by Neville Symington
Neville Symington
Neville Symington, a member of the Middle Group of British Psychoanalysts, 'has trodden a long and interesting path...tak[ing] him from his birthplace in Portugal, via England, to Australia, and with membership of the Port Wine Trade, the Catholic Church, the Tavistock Clinic, and the British...

 as possibly "the greatest psychoanalytic thinker...after Freud
Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud , born Sigismund Schlomo Freud , was an Austrian neurologist who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis...


Military service

Bion was born in Mathura, North-Western Provinces
North-Western Provinces
The North-Western Provinces was an administrative region in British India which succeeded the Ceded and Conquered Provinces and existed in one form or another from 1836 until 1902, when it became the Agra Province within the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh .-Area:The province included all...

, India, and educated at Bishop's Stortford College
Bishop's Stortford College
Bishop's Stortford College is a co-educational independent school for day and boarding pupils from the ages of four to eighteen, with a campus located on the edge of Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England...

 in England. After the outbreak of the First World War, he served in the Tank Corps
Royal Tank Regiment
The Royal Tank Regiment is an armoured regiment of the British Army. It was formerly known as the Tank Corps and the Royal Tank Corps. It is part of the Royal Armoured Corps and is made up of two operational regiments, the 1st Royal Tank Regiment and the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment...

 as a tank commander in France, and was awarded both the Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Order
The Distinguished Service Order is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the British Commonwealth and Empire, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat.Instituted on 6 September...

 (DSO) (on 18 February 1918, for his actions at the Battle of Cambrai), and the Croix de Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur
Légion d'honneur
The Legion of Honour, or in full the National Order of the Legion of Honour is a French order established by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the Consulat which succeeded to the First Republic, on 19 May 1802...

. He first entered the war zone on 26 June 1917, and was promoted to temporary lieutenant
First Lieutenant
First lieutenant is a military rank and, in some forces, an appointment.The rank of lieutenant has different meanings in different military formations , but the majority of cases it is common for it to be sub-divided into a senior and junior rank...

 on 10 June 1918, and to acting captain on 22 March 1918, when he took command of a tank section, he retained the rank when he became second-in-command of a tank company on 19 October 1918, and relinquished it on 7 January 1919. He was demobilised on 1 September 1921, and was granted the rank of captain. The full citation for his DSO reads:
"Bion's daughter, Parthenope ... raises the question of just how (and how far) her father was shaped as an analyst by his wartime experiences...under[p]inning Bion's later concern with the coexistence of regressed or primitive proto-mental states alongside more sophisticated one".


After World War I, Bion studied history at Queen's College, Oxford and medicine at University College London
University College London
University College London is a public research university located in London, United Kingdom and the oldest and largest constituent college of the federal University of London...

. Initially attracted to London by the "strange new subject called psychoanalysis", he met and was impressed by Wilfred Trotter
Wilfred Trotter
Wilfred Batten Lewis Trotter, FRS was a British surgeon, a pioneer in neurosurgery. He was also known for his studies on social psychology, most notably for his concept of the herd instinct, which he first outlined in two published papers in 1908, and later in his famous popular work Instincts of...

, an outstanding brain surgeon who had also written the famous Instincts of the Herd in Peace and War in 1916, based on the horrors of the First World War. This was to prove an important influence on Bion's interest in group behaviour. Having obtained his medical qualification Bion spent seven years in psychotherapeutic training at the Tavistock Clinic, an experience he regarded, in retrospect, as having had some limitations. It did, however, bring him into fruitful contact with Samuel Beckett
Samuel Beckett
Samuel Barclay Beckett was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet. He wrote both in English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.Beckett is widely regarded as among the most...

. He wanted to train in Psychoanalysis and in 1938 he began a training analysis with John Rickman, but this was brought to an end by the Second World War.

He was recommissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps
Royal Army Medical Corps
The Royal Army Medical Corps is a specialist corps in the British Army which provides medical services to all British Army personnel and their families in war and in peace...

 as a lieutenant on 1 April 1940, and worked in a number of military hospitals including Northfield Hospital
Northfield Hospital
The Northfield Hospital was a psychiatric hospital located at Tessal Lane, Northfield near Birmingham, England, and is famous primarily for the work on group psychotherapy that took place there in the years of the Second World War...

 where he initiated the first Northfield Experiment. These ideas on the psychoanalysis of groups were then taken up and developed by others such as S. H. Foulkes
S. H. Foulkes
Siegfried Heinrich Foulkes , born Siegfried Heinrich Fuchs in Karlsruhe, Germany, was the founder of Group Analysis, a specific form of group therapy, and the Group Analytic Society, London, which has an international membership in many countries....

, Rickman, Bridger, Main and Patrick De Mare
Patrick De Mare
Dr Patrick Baltzar de Maré was a consultant psychotherapist with a special interest in group psychotherapy. He has published several works on psychotherapy....

. The entire group at Tavistock had in fact been taken into the army, and were working on new methods of treatment for psychiatric casualties (those suffering post-traumatic stress, or "shell shock" as it was then known.) Out of this his pioneering work in group dynamics
Group dynamics
Group dynamics refers to a system of behaviors and psychological processes that occur within a social group , or between social groups...

, associated with the "Tavistock group", Bion wrote the influential Experiences in Groups, London: Tavistock
Tavistock Institute
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations is a British charity concerned with group behaviour and organisational behaviour. It was launched in 1946, when it separated from the Tavistock Clinic.-History of the Tavistock:...

, 1961. Experiences in Groups was an important guide for the group psychotherapy
Group psychotherapy
Group psychotherapy or group therapy is a form of psychotherapy in which one or more therapists treat a small group of clients together as a group...

 and encounter group movements beginning in the 1960s, and quickly became a touchstone work for applications of group theory in a wide variety of fields.

During the war Bion's wife gave birth to a daughter, but, tragically, she died soon afterwards. His daughter, Parthenope, became a highly-regarded psychoanalyst. She herself died prematurely, in a car crash in Italy in 1998.

Returning to the Tavistock Clinic Bion chaired the Planning Committee that reorganised the Tavistock into the new Tavistock Institute
Tavistock Institute
The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations is a British charity concerned with group behaviour and organisational behaviour. It was launched in 1946, when it separated from the Tavistock Clinic.-History of the Tavistock:...

 of Human Relations, alongside a new Tavistock Clinic which was part of the newly launched National Health Service
National Health Service
The National Health Service is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom...

. As his interest in psychoanalysis increased, he underwent training analysis, between 1946–1952, with Melanie Klein
Melanie Klein
Melanie Reizes Klein was an Austrian-born British psychoanalyst who devised novel therapeutic techniques for children that had an impact on child psychology and contemporary psychoanalysis...

. He met his second wife, Francesca, at the Tavistock in 1951. He joined a research group of Klein's students (including Hanna Segal
Hanna Segal
Hanna Segal was a British psychoanalyst and a follower of Melanie Klein. She was president of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and vice-president of the International Psychoanalytical Association...

 and Herbert Rosenfeld), who were developing Klein's theory of the paranoid-schizoid position, for use in the analysis of patients with psychotic disorders, and became a leading member of the Kleinian school. He produced a series of highly original and influential papers (collected as "Second Thoughts", 1967) on the analysis of schizophrenia, and the specifically cognitive, perceptual, and identity problems of such patients.

Bion's theories, which were always based in the phenomena of the analytic encounter, eventually revealed radical departures from both Kleinian and Freudian theory. At one point, he attempted to understand thoughts and thinking from a mathematical and scientific point of view, believing there to be too little precision in the existing vocabulary, a process culminating in "The Grid". Later he abandoned the complex, abstract applications of mathematics, and the Grid, and developed a more intuitive approach, epitomised in the Memoir of the Future.

He spent his later years in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, before returning to the UK shortly before his death.

He left a reputation which has steadily grown both in Britain and internationally. Some commentators consider that his writings are often gnomic and irritating, but never fail to stimulate. He defies categorisation as a follower of Klein or of Freud. 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 mainly concerned with his theory of thinking, and his model of the development of a capacity for thought.

Group dynamics - the "basic assumptions"

Wilfred Bion's observations about the role of group processes in group dynamics
Group dynamics
Group dynamics refers to a system of behaviors and psychological processes that occur within a social group , or between social groups...

 are set out in Experiences in Groups where he refers to recurrent emotional states of groups as basic assumptions. Bion argues that in every group, two groups are actually present: the work group, and the basic assumption group. The work group is that aspect of group functioning which has to do with the primary task of the group - what the group has formed to accomplish; will 'keep the group anchored to a sophisticated and rational level of behaviour'. The basic assumption group describes the tacit underlying assumptions on which the behaviour of the group is based. Bion specifically identified three basic assumptions: dependency, fight-flight, and pairing. When a group adopts any one of these basic assumptions, it interferes with the task the group is attempting to accomplish. Bion believed that interpretation by the therapist of this aspect of group dynamics would result in insight regarding effective group work.

In dependency, the essential aim of the group is to attain security through, and have its members protected by, one individual. The basic assumption in this group culture seems to be that an external object exists whose function it is to provide security for the immature individual. The group members behave passively, and act as though the leader, by contrast, is omnipotent and omniscient. For example, the leader may pose a question only to be greeted with docile silence, as though he or she had not spoken at all. The leader may be idealized into a kind of god who can take care of his or her children, and some especially ambitious leaders may be susceptible to this role. Resentment at being dependent may eventually lead the group members to "take down" the leader, and then search for a new leader to repeat the process.

In the basic assumption of fight-flight, the group behaves as though it has met to preserve itself at all costs, and that this can only be done by running away from someone or fighting someone or something. In fight, the group may be characterized by aggressiveness and hostility; in flight, the group may chit-chat, tell stories, arrive late or any other activities that serve to avoid addressing the task at hand. The leader for this sort of group is one who can mobilize the group for attack, or lead it in flight.

The final basic assumption group, pairing, exists on the assumption that the group has met for the purpose of reproduction - the basic assumption that two people can be met together for only one purpose, and that a sexual one'. Two people, regardless the sex of either, carry out the work of the group through their continued interaction. The remaining group members listen eagerly and attentively with a sense of relief and hopeful anticipation.

Bion considered that "the three basic-assumption groups seem each in turn to be aggregates of individuals sharing out between them the characteristics of one character in the OEdipal
Oedipus complex
In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex denotes the emotions and ideas that the mind keeps in the unconscious, via dynamic repression, that concentrate upon a boy’s desire to sexually possess his mother, and kill his father...

 situation". Behind the Oedipal level, however, Bion postulated the existence of still more primitive, part-object phantasies; and 'the more disturbed the group, the more easily discernible are these primitive phantasies and mechanisms'. Such phantasies would prove the main focus of Bion's interest after his second (Kleinian) analysis.

Bion on thinking

"During the 1950s and 1960s, Bion transformed Melanie Klein's theories of infantile phantasy...into an epistemological "theory of thinking" of his own." Bion used as his starting point the phenomenology of the analytic hour, highlighting the two principles of "the emergence of truth and mental growth. The mind grows through exposure to truth." The foundation for both mental development and truth are, for Bion, emotional experience.

The evolution of emotional experience into the capacity for thought, and the potential derailment of this process, are the primary phenomena described in Bion's model. Through his hypothesized alpha and beta elements, Bion provides a language to help one think about what is occurring during the analytic hour. These tools are intended for use outside the hour in the clinician’s reflective process. To attempt to apply his models during the analytic session violates the basic principle whereby "Bion had advocated starting every session 'without memory, desire or understanding' - his antidote to those intrusive influences that otherwise threaten to distort the analytic process."

Alpha elements, beta elements, and alpha function

Bion created a theory of thinking based on changing beta elements (unmetabolized psyche/soma/affective experience) into alpha elements (thoughts that can be thought by the thinker). Beta elements were seen as cognate to the underpinnings of the "basic assumptions" identified in his work with groups: "the fundamental anxieties that underlie the basic assumption group resistances were originally thought of as proto-mental phenomena...forerunners of Bion's later concept of beta-elements." They were equally conceptual developments from his work on projective identification
Projective identification
Projective Identification is 'a term first used by Melanie Klein to describe a process whereby parts of the ego are thought of as forced into another person who is then expected to become identified with whatever has been projected'....

 - from the "minutely split 'particles'" Bion saw as expelled in pathological p.i. by the psychotic, who would then go on to "lodge them in the angry, so-called 'bizarre objects' by which he feels persecuted and controlled". For "these raw bits of experience he called beta-elements...to be actively handled and made use of by the mind they must, through what Bion calls alpha-functions, become alpha-elements".

β elements, α elements and α function are elements that Bion (1963) hypothesizes. He does not consider β-elements, α- elements, nor α function to actually exist. The terms are instead tools for thinking about what is being observed. They are elements whose qualities remain unsaturated, meaning we cannot know the full extent or scope of their meaning, so they are intended as tools for thought rather than real things to be accepted at face value (1962, p. 3).

Bion took for granted that the infant requires a mind to help it tolerate and organize experience. For Bion, thoughts exist prior to the development of an apparatus for thinking. The apparatus for thinking, the capacity to have thoughts "has to be called into existence to cope with thoughts" (1967, p. 111). Thoughts exist prior to their realization. Thinking, the capacity to think the thoughts which already exist, develops through another mind providing α-function (1962, p. 83) - through the "container" role of maternal reverie.

To learn from experience alpha-function must operate on the awareness of the emotional experience; alpha–elements are produced from the impressions of the experience; these are thus made storable and available for dream thoughts and for unconscious waking thinking... If there are only beta-elements, which cannot be made unconscious, there can be no repression, suppression, or learning. (Bion, 1962, p8)

α-function works upon undigested facts, impressions, and sensations, that cannot be mentalized - beta-elements. α-function digests β-elements, making them available for thought (1962, pp. 6–7).

Beta-elements are not amenable to use in dream thoughts but are suited for use in projective identification. They are influential in producing acting out. These are objects that can be evacuated or used for a kind of thinking that depends on manipulation of what are felt to be things in themselves as if to substitute such manipulations for words or ideas... Alpha-function transforms sense impressions into alpha-elements which resemble, and may in fact be identical with, the visual images with which we are familiar in dreams, namely, the elements that Freud regards as yielding their latent content when the analyst has interpreted them. Failure of alpha-function means the patient cannot dream and therefore cannot sleep. As alpha-function makes the sense impressions of the emotional experience available for conscious and dream –thought the patient who cannot dream cannot go to sleep and cannot wake up. (1962, pp. 6-7)

Knowledge, love and hate

Successful application of alpha-function leads to "the capacity to tolerate the actual frustration involved in learning ("K") that [Bion] calls 'learning from experience'". The opposite of knowledge - K - was what Bion termed -K: "powerful beta-elements [Bion's term for primitive proto-mental experiences] are linked...[to] the operation of '-K' as the process that strips, denudes, and devalues persons, experiences, and ideas."

Both +K and -K thereupon interact for Bion with Love and Hate, as links within the analytic relationship. "The complexities of the emotional link, whether Love or Hate or Knowledge [L, H, and K - the Bionic relational triad]" produces ever-changing "atmospheric" effects in the analytic situation. The patient's focus may wish to be "on Love and Hate (L and H) rather than the knowledge (K) that is properly at stake in psychoanalytic inquiry."

For Bion, "knowledge is not a thing we have, but a link between ourselves and what we know ... +K is being willing to know but not insisting on knowledge." By contrast, "minus K (-K)...[is] not just ignorance but the active avoidance of knowledge, or even the wish to destroy the capacity for it" - "enacts what 'Attacks on Linking' identifies as hatred of emotion, hatred of reality, hatred of life itself."

Looking for the source of such hate (H), Bion states in Learning from Experience that with regard to the destruction of knowledge, "Inevitably one wonders at various points in the investigation why such a phenomenon as that represented by -K should exist.... I shall consider one factor only--Envy. By this term I mean the phenomenon described by Melanie Klein in Envy and Gratitude" (1962, p. 96).

Reversible perspective and -K

"Reversible Perspective" was a term coined by Bion to illuminate "a peculiar and deadly form of analytic impasse which defends against psychic pain". It represents the clash of "two independently experienced views or phenomena whose meanings are incompatible". In Bion's own words, "Reversible perspective is evidence of pain; the patient reverses perspective so as to make a dynamic situation static."

As summarised by Etchegoyen, "Reversible perspective is an extreme case of rigidity of thought...As Bion says, what is most characteristic in such cases is the manifest accord and the latent discord." In clinical contexts, what may happen is that notionally the analyst's "interpretation is accepted, but the premises have been rejected...the actual specificity, the substance of the interpretation". Reversible perspective is an aspect of "the potential destruction and deformation of knowledge" - of the attacks on linking of -K.

O: The ineffable

As his thought continued to develop, Bion came to use "reversible perspective as an analytic tool for examining psychoanalytic phenomena from both sides to get a stereoscopic (binocular) perspective" - something which may be linked to his increasing concern with what he termed "O" - the unknowable, or ultimate Truth. "In aesthetics, Bion is a neo-Kantian
KANT is a computer algebra system for mathematicians interested in algebraic number theory, performing sophisticated computations in algebraic number fields, in global function fields, and in local fields. KASH is the associated command line interface...

 for whom reality, or the thing-in-itself (O), can only be known through its sensory perception." In terms of individual experience, Bion would speak of "an intense catastrophic emotional explosion O" which could only be known through its aftereffects. Where before he had valorised knowledge (+K), now he would speak as well of "resistance to the shift from transformations involving K (knowledge) to transformations involving O...of resistance to the unknowable". Hence his injunctions to the analyst to eschew memory and understanding, to "bring to bear a diminution of the 'light' - a penetrating beam of darkness; a reciprocal of the searchlight. If any object existed, however faint, it would show up very clearly".


Bion's concept of maternal "reverie" as the capacity to sense (and make sense of) what is going on inside the infant has been an important element in post-Kleinian thought: "reverie is an act of faith in unconscious process...essential to alpha-function'" It is considered the equivalent of Stern
Daniel Stern (psychologist)
Daniel N. Stern is a prominent psychiatrist and psychoanalytic theorist, specializing in infant development, on which he has written a number of books - most notably The Interpersonal World of the Infant ....

's attunement, or Winnicott's maternal preoccupation.

In therapy, the analyst's use of "reverie" is an important tool in his/her response to the patient's material: "it is this capacity for playing with a patient's images that Bion encouraged".

Late Bion

"For the later Bion, the psychoanalytic encounter was itself a site of turbulence, 'a mental space for further ideas which may yet be developed'." In his unorthodox quest to maintain such "mental space", Bion "spent the final years of his long and distinguished professional life...[writing] a futuristic trilogy in which he is answerable to no one but himself. A Memoir of the Future."

If we accept that "Bion introduced a new form of pedagogy in his writings...[via] the density and non-linearity of his prose", it comes perhaps to a peak here in what he himself termed "a fictitious account of psychoanalysis including an artificially constructed dream...science fiction". We may conclude at least that he achieved his stated goal therein: "To prevent someone who KNOWS from filling the empty space".

Further reading

  • Bleandonu, Gerard, Wilfred Bion: His Life and Works. Free Association Books
    Free Association Books
    Free Association Books is an innovative project started in 1980s London. It arose as the brainchild of Bob Young and colleagues, who, disillusioned by the decline of the liberatory movement, began a search using psychoanalysis to understand the problems of liberation...

    , London, 1994
  • Michael Eigen, The Electrified Tightrope (London 2004)
  • López-Corvo, Rafael
    Rafael E. López-Corvo
    Rafael E. Lopez-Corvo is a psychoanalyst. He served on the editorial board of the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis and was an associate professor at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He has a private practice in Toronto...

    , The Dictionary of the Work of W.R. Bion, Karnac Books, London, 2003
  • Donald Meltzer
    Donald Meltzer
    Donald Meltzer was a Kleinian psychoanalyst whose teaching made him influential in many countries. He became known for making clinical headway with difficult childhood conditions such as autism, and also for his theoretical innovations and developments...

    , Dream-Life: A Re-Examination of the Psycho-Analytical Theory and Technique Publisher: Karnac Books, 1983, ISBN 0-902965-17-4
  • Paulo Cesar Sandler, The Language of Bion: A Dictionary of Concepts (London 2005)

See also

Works by Bion

  • Bion, W.R. (1940). The war of nerves. In Miller and Crichton-Miller (Eds.), The Neuroses in War (pp. 180 – 200). London: Macmillan, 1940.
  • Bion, W.R. (1943). Intra-group tensions in therapy, Lancet 2: 678/781 - Nov.27, 1943, in Experiences in Groups (1961).
  • Bion, W. R.(1946). Leaderless group project, Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 10: 77-81.
  • Bion, W. R. (1948a). Psychiatry in a time of crisis, British Journal of Medical Psychology, vol.XXI.
  • Bion, W. R. (1948b). Experiences in groups, Human Relations, vols. I-IV, 1948–1951, Reprinted in Experiences in Groups (1961).
  • Bion, W. R. (1950). The imaginary twin, read to the British Psychoanalytical Society, Nov.1,1950. In Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1952). Group dynamics: a review. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, vol.33: , Reprinted in M. Klein, P. Heimann & R. Money-Kyrle (editors). New Directions in Psychoanalysis (pp. 440–477). Tavistock Publications, London, 1955. Reprinted in Experiences in Groups (1961).
  • Bion, W. R. (1954). Notes on the theory of schizophrenia. Read in the Symposium "The Psychology of Schizophrenia" at the 18th International psycho-analytical congress, London, 1953 International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, vol.35: . Reprinted in Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1955a). The Development of Schizophrenic Thought, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, vol.37: . Reprinted in Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1955b ). Language and the schizophrenic, in M. Klein, P. Heimann and R. Money-Kyrle (editors). New Directions in Psychoanalysis (pp. 220 – 239).Tavistock Publications, London, 1955.
  • Bion, W. R. (1957a). The differentiation of the psychotic from the non-psychotic personalities, International Journal of Psycho Analysis, vol.38: . Reprinted in Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1957b). On Arrogance, 20th International Congress of Psycho-Analysis, Paris, in Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1958). On Hallucination, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis,vol.39, part 5: . Reprinted in Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1959). Attacks on linking, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, vol.40: . Reprinted in Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1961). Experiences in Groups, London: Tavistock.
  • Bion, W. R. (1962a). A theory of thinking, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, vol.43: . Reprinted in Second Thoughts (1967).
  • Bion, W. R. (1962b). Learning from Experience London: William Heinemann. [Reprinted London: Karnac Books,]. Reprinted in Seven Servants (1977e).
  • Bion, W. R. (1963). Elements of Psycho-Analysis, London: William Heinemann. [Reprinted London: Karnac Books]. Reprinted in Seven Servants (1977e).
  • Bion, W. R. (1965). Transformations. London: William Heinemann [Reprinted London: Karnac Books 1984]. Reprinted in Seven Servants (1977e).
  • Bion, W. R. (1966). Catastrophic change, Bulletin of The British Psychoanalytical Society, 1966, N°5.
  • Bion, W. R. (1967a). Second Thoughts, London: William Heinemann. [Reprinted London: Karnac Books 1984].
  • Bion, W. R. (1967b). Notes on memory and desire, Psycho-analytic Forum, vol. II n° 3 (pp. 271 – 280). [reprinted in E. Bott Spillius (Ed.). Melanie Klein Today Vol. 2 Mainly Practice (pp. 17–21) London: Routledge 1988].
  • Bion, W. R.(1970). Attention and Interpretation. London: Tavistock Publications. [Reprinted London: Karnac Books 1984]. Reprinted in Seven Servants (1977e).

  • Bion, W.R. (1973). Bion's Brazilian Lectures 1. Rio de Janeiro: Imago Editora. [Reprinted in one volume London: Karnac Books 1990].
  • Bion, W. R. (1974). Bion's Brazilian Lectures 2. Rio de Janeiro: Imago Editora. [Reprinted in one volume London: Karnac Books 1990].
  • Bion, W.R. (1975). A Memoir of the Future, Book 1 The Dream. Rio de Janeiro: Imago Editora. [Reprinted in one volume with Books 2 and 3 and ‘The Key’ London: Karnac Books 1991].
  • Bion, W. R. (1976a). Evidence. Bulletin British Psycho-Analytical Society N° 8, 1976. Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Four Papers (1987).
  • Bion, W.R. (1976b). Interview, with A.G.Banet jr., Group and Organisation Studies, vol.1 No.3 (pp. 268 – 285). September 1976.
  • Bion, W.R. (1977a). A Memoir of the Future, Book 2 The Past Presented. Rio de Janeiro: Imago Editora. [Reprinted in one volume with Books 1 and 3 and ‘The Key’ London: Karnac Books 1991].
  • Bion, W.R. (1977b). Two Papers: The Grid and Caesura. Rio de Janeiro: Imago Editora. [Reprinted London: Karnac Books 1989].
  • Bion, W. R. (1977c). On a Quotation from Freud, in Borderline Personality Disorders, New York: International University Press. Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Four Papers(1987). [Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Other Works. London: Karnac Books, 1994].
  • Bion, W. R. (1977d). Emotional Turbulence, in Borderline Personality Disorders, New York: International University Press. Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Four Papers(1987). [Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Other Works. London: Karnac Books, 1994].
  • Bion, W. R. (1977e). Seven Servants. New York: Jason Aronson
    Jason Aronson
    Jason Aronson is an American publisher of books in the field of psychotherapy. Topics dealt with in these books include child therapy, family therapy, couple therapy, object relations therapy, play therapy, depression, eating disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse, sexual abuse, stress,...

    inc. (includes Elements of Psychoanalysis, Learning from Experience, Transformations, Attention and Interpretation).
  • Bion, W.R. (1978). Four Discussions with W.R. Bion. Perthshire: Clunie Press. [Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Other Works. London: Karnac Books, 1994].
  • Bion, W.R. (1979a). Making the best of a Bad Job. Bulletin British Psycho-Analytical Society, February 1979. Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Four Papers (1987). [Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Other Works. London: Karnac Books, 1994].
  • Bion, W.R. (1979b). A Memoir of the Future, Book 3 The Dawn of Oblivion. Rio de Janeiro: Imago Editora. [Reprinted in one volume with Books 1 and 2 and ‘The Key’ London: Karnac Books 1991].
  • Bion, W.R. (1980). Bion in New York and Sào Paolo. (Edited by F.Bion). Perthshire: Clunie Press.
  • Bion, W.R. (1981). A Key to A Memoir of the Future. (Edited by F.Bion). Perthshire: Clunie Press. [Reprinted in one volume London: Karnac Books 1991].
  • Bion, W.R. (1982). The Long Weekend: 1897-1919 (Part of a Life). (Edited by F.Bion). Abingdon: The Fleetwood Press.
  • Bion, W.R. (1985). All My Sins Remembered (Another part of a Life) and The Other Side of Genius: Family Letters. (Edited by F.Bion). Abingdon: The Fleetwood Press.
  • Bion, W.R. (1985). Seminari Italiani. (Edited by F.Bion). Roma: Borla.
  • Bion, W.R. (1987). Clinical Seminars and Four Papers, (Edited by F.Bion). Abingdon: Fleetwood Press. [Reprinted in Clinical Seminars and Other Works. London: Karnac Books, 1994].
  • Bion, W.R. (1992). Cogitations. (Edited by F.Bion). London: Karnac Books.
  • Bion, W.R. (1997a). Taming Wild Thoughts. (Edited by F.Bion). London: Karnac Books.
  • Bion, W.R. (1997b). War Memoirs 1917 - 1919. (Edited by F.Bion). London: Karnac Books.
  • Bion, Wilfred R (1999). Seminar held in Paris, 10 July 1978. Transcribed by Francesca Bion Sept.

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