Wilfred Bion, Once again about projective identification...

Chapter 13. Wilfred Bion

Everything went wrong. Do not want to work, meet with friends, live, in the end. Everything was covered by a viscous veil of melancholy, fatigue, mental exhaustion. The diagnosis is depression. It has become mass. Among all sorts of disorders gradually comes to the forefront. Seasonal exacerbations of depressive conditions are also recorded, and crisis symptoms are indicated. The person captured by depression experiences first of all heavy, painful emotions and experiences - depression, melancholy, despair. Weakening the usual drives, eliminating the usual motives, determining actions, reduced volitional activity.

What should I do? To write out pills that increase vitality, improve mood? Do not hurry. First of all, one must understand that depression has different origins and different variants. Most likely, this is a common sign for a number of different states. Before dealing with a patient, it is necessary to understand what exactly happened to this person. And in a wide range - from simple apathy to sense.

Simple apathy in the form of depression. We live in a world that requires huge energy costs. We are constantly tense. Maybe it's just a psychological fatigue, which requires energy recharging. Or maybe it's boredom, that English spleen. There was a slow reaction, tone was lowered, instability was piled up. It is possible that the depression came in the form of a pendulum movement - after unjustified euphoria, an unheard-of surge of feelings. This is another state - and another correction. Psychiatrists of the last century even identified "grumbling depression". Most often, depression is caused by a lack of meaning, which literally emerged from your activity, from your interpersonal connections. Often, depression is a consequence of biochemical disorder. In this case, perhaps, a tablet is also possible.

Once again about projective identification

Wilfred Bion (1897-1979) is an English psychoanalyst, one of the prominent theorists of depth psychology. He expanded our understanding of the psychotic processes of thinking. He described many new things, characterizing normal thinking, as well as a number of emotional factors that make it possible to distinguish a psychotic state from normal.

Bion made an important contribution to our understanding of the pathology of the patient's experience with regard to any couple. He emphasized the patient's tendency to destroy the connection between two objects, the prototype of which is the connection between the mouth and the chest, which evokes hatred and envy in the child. Bion wrote that even when a child participates in a creative act, sharing an envious emotional experience, he also identifies himself with the rejected participant, with the resulting suffering, envy and jealousy.

Bion described the situation when a child, faced with a parent image, unable to perceive or be tolerant of the projections of the child, which became increasingly violent and chaotic, found itself in a hopeless situation. Rarely are there parents who are able to contain what is projected on them, or a reasonable oedipal couple, which in creative communication is capable of taking the projection image and sustaining it.

Thus, following M. Klein Bion postulates the early form of the Oedipus complex. The child's reaction to the experience or imagination of a creative connection - first between the mouth and the chest, later between sexual parents - is transformed into hostile and destructive sexuality, which provokes a fantasy idea of ​​an ideal (sterile) couple. Understanding the way to awaken a child's envy to a parent couple with a fierce and destructive projection on it, in order to separate the parents or make them sterile, interprets many of the pathological situations that psychoanalysts face.

Bion expanded the concept of projective identification Klein, introducing primitive mental communication and exchange into the scheme. The infant projects its anxiety and rudimentary primitive elements of reality onto the breast (beta elements). A mother who is able to contain (contain) a projective identification unconsciously processes these projections and adequately perceives the needs of the child. When this happens, the infant can reintroduce (ie, intimate) its projections, altered by understanding, and introject the breast as a capacity that can contain anxiety. This forms the basis of his personal ability to manage with anxiety. This modification of understanding transforms beta elements into alpha-elements, which means a higher level of mental functioning. According to Bion, a good relationship between capacity and content is the basis for such later abilities as the introduction of symbols and the development of mental skills. When the relationship is significantly impaired by the adverse reaction of the mother or the envy of the child (usually a combination of both factors), a basis for future psychotic disorders is created.

The poor relationship between capacity and content strongly influences the appearance of the oedipal complex. Bion suggested that with a good ("symbiotic") relationship between capacity and content, two objects "divide the third to the benefit of all three". A nasty ( parasitic ) relationship produces a third object, destructive for all three. "

У. Bion believed that the mother's lack of a deterrent has some detrimental effects on the personality of some people, developing a destructively envious super-ego that does not allow them to learn to maintain such connections with any objects or learn how to establish such connections. Bion explains that the mother's inability to understand the essence of the projections of her child is experienced by the child himself as a destructive attack from her side on the connecting link and the possibility of communicating with her as a good object.

The idea of ​​a good maternal object can only be restored through such a breach of tightness, so that the existence of a hostile force that damages the child's good connection with his own mother is already felt. Motherly kindness is now questionable, unreliable and depends on it, limiting its knowledge about it. The expansion of knowledge about the mother as a consequence of the development of the child and his curiosity is perceived as threatening this vital relationship. Curiosity also reveals the existence of an oedipal situation. In the development of each child this is a serious test of faith in the kindness of one's own mother. For the child, reluctance to accept this situation and a different view of the mother is natural. A child who tried to gain new knowledge about his mother was threatened. This gives rise to an understanding of his status in his psyche. And also a feeling of impending danger arises because of her relationship with the child's father.

The mad rage and hostility that would rise from such an opening are perceived as dangerous for his belief in a world where good objects can exist. The terrible force that threatened his original connection with his mother is now identified with the oedipal father, and the link between the parents of the link is perceived as a formidable danger. The unreceptive merciless mother was distracted from the child. Aboriginal connection of the child with a good maternal object is felt as the source of life. When this object is under threat, life itself is perceived as being in danger.

That's why in the process of psychoanalytic treatment, many patients perceive full parental sexuality as a threat to life. Identifying the projection of the full emotional value of the idea of ​​the first stage is accompanied by death attacks. Significant awareness in the oedipal situation is also estimated as the beginning of a mental catastrophe.

M. Klein and W. Bion, faced with all this, noted that the psychotic mutilates his own psyche, only to prevent the realization of this moment. In schizophrenic patients, the mental apparatus is split and thinking becomes impossible.

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