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The Art of Fielding


Bion created different theoretical tools to observe emotional transformations during a therapeutic session. In the relational field, these tools are particularly useful to observe how emotions create representations as steps in the transformation of further emotional experiences. Describing the complex unfolding of this process, Bion used the word “truth” to highlight the tension towards the unknown, the absolute unachievable named “O”.

The word ‘authenticity’ is close to the theoretical concept of ‘truth’, but it better describes and includes something pertaining to relational experience. Authenticity especially appears as a broader concept, which includes something about style and the ability to reach a sense of contentment and sharing together.

The author explores as authenticity goes through the form, not just the content, of language; a form capable of arousing surprise, wonder and transformation of the gaze. The optimal regulation of the intensity of feeling and the subjective quality of the words allow the latter to cross the relational field and to be received by the other subject. The goal for therapy that strives to reach the patient and allow a creative, subjective and full relational experience can be described (or summarized) with the word ‘authenticity’.

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