THESE THREE THINGS 937


1. Sometimes, quite unexpectedly, I am led back to my study and love of psychoanalysis. It continues to be something that people want to talk to me about, and a study that I find likes to become relevant in my own thinking of pretty much everything. Even though I do not see patients anymore, I do find the literature and study research fascinating. Like salivate over the perfect BBQ, fascinating. I brought up Bion the other day, who spent most of his analytic career studying the behavior of groups. Groups are so complex. Like, how do any of us even congregate in a group, complex. We exist in groups, pretty much all the time, and in nearly all circumstances, we are part of multiple groups at the same time. Groups, whether it is a family, a group of coworkers, or inmates are all susceptible to the same unwritten rules. They provoke boatloads of anxiety and elicit behaviors in us that take on certain roles, depending upon the makeup of the group. It's possible for someone to have the same role across all their groups, or a different role in each one. It's all kind of mind numbing, in the best sort of way. I was lucky enough to be a part of several Bion study groups, which were both fascinating and simultaneously what nightmares are made of. Bion study groups have an organizer, but that leader's job is to sit back and say nothing. They act as an observer reflecting to the group the behavior as a whole and the roles each member is playing via their behavior. The anxiety produced by being in this sort of group is vomit inducing for sure. But, a really worthwhile clinical learning experience. You can run, but you cant hide. I won't go deep into it here, but I did skim over Bion's three basic assumptions of group behavior today in sweet reminiscence. Extremely abridged, Bion believed that every group has both work group and basic assumption group tendencies. A work group exists on the premise that there is a task to be completed and we will do so in a civil and organized fashion - for the most part. A basic assumption group is where things get real. This is where behavior comes in and things get regressive and we have a tendency to throw all of our unmetabolized psyche all over each other. A basic assumption group relies on three basic assumptions in eliciting our responses to the group dynamic. They are below. In true Bion fashion, I'm just going to leave them here and quietly observe your digestion of them. Ha!
1. Dependency

2. Fight-flight

3. Pairing

What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.

And then there’s also Hinshelwood. But that salivation is for another day.

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