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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slightly flawed but still excellent, 11 Sep 2013
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The first time I read this book I was struck by something that has taken a second read to confirm - everything about this book is excellent apart from the first couple of chapters, which are really flakey. The authors take the strange decision of throwing down the gauntlet in regards to Bion's standing as a thinker and psychoanalyst, claiming that he is the 'deepest' thinker in the firmament bar none - including of course everyone's favourite target, Freud. Freud as usual gets painted as reductive, blinkered and deterministic in his metapsychological model and Bion is the revolutionary white knight. Yes, Bion is the bestest, we are assured in often rather breathless purple prose and without hesitation or irony. Some of this is about the author's clear love for him and his thinking, which I admire and enjoy, and some of it is just plain silliness in the service of distinguishing and distancing him from his predecessors and contemporaries. Way too much of a meal is made of this - Bion wasn't the only thinker to synthesise something original from Freud and Klein's models - Winnicott for example was equally subversive in this way. So, that's the missing star from my review.

Right, now that's out the way, I'm happy to report that the rest of the book is extremely well put-together and useful, written at just the right level for someone seeking a challenging introduction. 'The grid' is used as the centre point from which all of Bion's major concepts are presented, and the authors do this with deftness, insight and an obvious passion for what Bion stood for intellectually and philosophically. They get inside his ideas and light them up which, for a psychotherapy student such as myself, is invaluable since his original texts are not easy to get to grips with.

I can unreservedly recommend this book. The misty-eyed silliness which crops up from time to time is ultimately easy to forgive when you consider how much research and effort has clearly gone into decoding Bion's slightly esoteric but nonetheless valuable contributions to the field.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contemporary and credible thinker, 17 April 2012
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This review is from: The Clinical Thinking of Wilfred Bion (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy) (Paperback)
Bion introduced The Grid, which gives perspective on development of thought. It gives an account of emergence of thought from the unconscious to concious thinking and how defence mechanisms prevent that from happening in many individuals. This is well illustrated by examples. 'Looking for the truth' in a person is Bion's main theme and I think that simplicity expresses what psychoanalysis is about.
He is an 'independent' to his presuccessors such as Melanie Klein, and veers away from some concepts or just uses different terminology to describe the same thing, however, his book can be used to critically evaluate works of others, or help us think out of the box.
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The Clinical Thinking of Wilfred Bion (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy)
The Clinical Thinking of Wilfred Bion (Makers of Modern Psychotherapy) by Neville Symington (Paperback - 14 Mar 1996)
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