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Linking with W. R. Bion

  • Alicia Jean Mireles Christoff
Extract

In his evocatively named “Attacks on Linking,” originally published in the International Journal of Psycho-Analysis in 1959, W. R. Bion describes patients who produce symptoms—hallucinations, stutters, sleepiness—designed, unconsciously, to destroy closeness with the analyst. In a numbered list of “clinical examples,” Bion describes incidents from his own practice: one patient sees a blue haze filling the room. Another reports two probability clouds floating in the air. A third tries to agree with what Bion has said, but stammers so markedly that he cannot get the words out. A fourth hallucinates that a piece of iron falls to the floor. The haze, the clouds, the stuttering, the “dead piece of iron,” initially inexplicable, become in Bion's hands “attacks on linking”: ways not to see, not to speak, not to connect, not to think.

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Victorian Literature and Culture
  • ISSN: 1060-1503
  • EISSN: 1470-1553
  • URL: /core/journals/victorian-literature-and-culture
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