For BION 2016, three topics, “Emotions”, “Transformations” and “Psychic Vitality”, have been identified as primary concepts in Wilfred Bion’s thought.



Despite the fact that the emotional dimension inherits an older instinctual substrate from phylogeny, Bion argues that for human consciousness emotion is the binocular counterpart of thought. The activity of the alpha function ensures that thought and emotion are two sides of the same coin. Emotions are also necessarily interwoven with a relational context. In Bion’s opinion, the major “passions”, “love”, “hate” and “knowledge” do in fact coincide with the main forms of relationship in couples and groups.



Bion concludes his theoretical trilogy with Transformations. The change from learning to growth. In this book he is attempting to lighten the metapsychological structure of psychoanalysis and to describe the vicissitudes of knowledge in its impact with the unknown.


“Psychic vitality”

The challenge of psychoanalysis is that of liberating the potential vitality and creativity of the participants in the analytical process. This occurs notwithstanding the difficult and often painful endeavour of dealing with the aftermath of primitive catastrophes. From this angle, we can revisit the topic of the relation between genius and madness.


The time is ripe for us to “transform” our ideas yet again. As a further stimulus, we suggest two fragments from The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa: 1930 “ A breath of music or a dream, or something that makes me almost feel, something that keeps me from thinking”; “Give a personality to every emotion, a soul to every state of mind”.