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Containing States of Mind


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Table of Contents

Preface. Acknowledgements. Encountering Unbearable States of Mind. Projective Identification, Countertransference and the Containing Function. The Analyst's Containing Mind. Polarities of the Containing Connection. Notes on Interpretation. Speculations About Proto-containing Experiences. Modes Of Interaction. Idealizing the Container. Some Aspects of Beta-mentality on Mimicry and Thinking in a Technological Age. Beta-mentality in Violent Men. The Autistic Mode in Agoraphobic Syndrome. The Dead Alive Self in Borderline States. References.

About the Author

Duncan Cartwright is head of the Centre for Applied Psychology, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. He is in part-time private practice and is the author of Psychoanalysis, Violence and Rage-Type Murder: Murdering Minds, Routledge, 2002.


"Bion's concept of the "container and the contained" has become one of his most well-known and used ideas -- to the point that it has become taken for granted ("saturated," in Bion's terms). Duncan Cartwright has given this concept new life, expands upon it, and integrates it with much of Bion's other work in innovative ways. The results are exciting. The author has expertly balanced profound and extensive scholarship with sound reasoning and with a reader-friendly style. A number of works on Bion have been published recently; this one is in my opinion one of the finest and most useful." -- James Grotstein, Training and Supervising Analyst, Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Institute, USA "This is a challenging book in relation to the conceptualisation of the container-contained configuration but one that is extremely useful in developing an understanding of the dynamics and psychic processes inherent in the analytic relationship." -- Journal of Analytical Psychology, Vol. 55, 2010

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