chapter  4
26 Pages

The ego psychology of Wilfred Bion: implications for an intersubjective view of psychic structure

Freud’s writings are frequently mentioned in Bion’s work, yet, when they are referenced, these citations are invariably to Freud’s texts up to 1920. This is curious, especially given Bion’s much-deserved reputation for erudition, and one must assume that he was very familiar with the entirety of Freud’s work. It is as though he lost interest in Freud after the introduction of the structural theory (Freud, 1923a). Bion, however, often spoke of the “ego,” found the idea of a superego useful, and furthered our understanding of the relationship between these two entities by promoting the notion of an “ego-destructive superego” (Bion, 1959, 1962a). Nevertheless, Bion (1994) found the conception of the tripartite model of the mind as incomplete and overly simple, “a crude, but shrewd subdivision of the mind into various parts” (p. 286).