A critical examination of bions concept of containment and. Bion makes a radical statement in his experiences in groups. Chuck kormanski and andrew mozenter integrated the different theories, including the group dynamics model of tuckman, in the model they published in 1987. Foulkes and wilfred bion using group therapy as an approach to treating combat fatigue in the second world war. Bion s theory is based in large part on his work managing a rehabilitation unit for psychiatric patients in the british army during wwii and later with small groups at the tavistock clinic. Redressing the balance in bions experiences in groups. It can refer to the treatment of a number of individuals assembled for special therapeutic sessions, or it can refer to a planned endeavour to develop in a group the forces that lead to smoothly running cooperative activity. Wilfred bion british psychoanalyst that wrote extensively on groups and group processes in mid1900s, involved in tavistock institute irvin yalom popularized theory and practice of group psychotherapy. Bion using knowledge derived from his psychoanalytic studies freud attempted1 to illuminate some of the problems which had been raised by le bon, mcdougall and others in their studies of the group. The study of group dynamics can be useful in understanding decisionmaking behaviour, tracking the spread of diseases in society, creating effective therapy techniques, and following the emergence and popularity of new ideas. Finally, group dynamics has come to be used to describe a growing body of applied knowledge, or technology, which attempts to translate the findings and theories of basic knowledge into practical principles and methods. A core literacy for innovation leaders in the nhs clare penlington1 and patrick marshall2 1school of medicine and dentistry, queen mar y university london, uk 2 health ser vices management centre, university of birmingham, england.
Wilfred bion and the importance of notknowing part 1. Bion argues that in every group, two groups are actually present. In our group dynamics classes, we have found that read ings, lectures, and discussions further enhance students understanding and. Bions group dynamic theory can be divided into a general group dynamic part, a description of the basic assumptions fightflight, dependency and pairing, and a. Based on this belief, the present author will now apply bion s theory of thinking 1 to understand the difficulties encountered by the group to develop and function as a work group, and 2 to integrate the theory of basic assumptions bion, 1968 into the theory of thinking. First, it extends bions framework, developing the concept of the work group in parallel with the basic assumptions. This level of group activity bion labeled the work group. By 1964, winnicott ended his entreaties to bion and the klein group when they continued to ignore his many contributions, memorializing it in his 1965 paper, the kleinian development. Review 9 group dynamics using his psychoanalytic experience freud 1 attempted to illuminate some of the obscurities revealed by le bon, mcdougall, and others in their studies of the human group. The study of group dynamics can be useful in understanding decisionmaking behavior, tracking the spread of diseases in society, creating effective. Wilfred bion was one of the first people to focus on the unconscious defenses that a group uses to deal with anxiety and conflict that distract the group from its conscious tasks.
Group dynamics theory by kormanski and mozenter toolshero. By this formalization we analyze the group dynamics as the result of the individual dynamics of the members and prove. Bion and basic assumption groups the sanctuary model by. Through a consideration of the influence that melanie klein had on the work of bion and a charting of how his work evolved into something that klein might have battled to recognise, we will attempt. Dec 17, 2011 the result was his creative theory of assumptive cultures.
Group dynamics is a system of behaviors and psychological processes occurring within a social group intragroup dynamics, or between social groups intergroup dynamics. Bions theory of assumptive cultures group dynamics. Bions third basic assumption group is called pairing. Pdf at its heart, leadership is about human behaviour what we do, how we do it and why we do it. There are also sections on aesthetic, group mentality, and the late bion a period of. In working with groups, he noticed that there were interaction patterns that members of the group were largely unaware of, that appeared to emerge not from one person but were a product of the group dynamic, and. Conflicts that erupt among group members can all too easily recreate the dynamics of the traumatic event, with group members assuming the roles of perpetrator, accomplice, bystander, victim, and rescuer. Group dynamics the basic assumptions of wilfred bion top 19 facts mp4 rory connolly. Group dynamics and group development guilford press. The role of the group leader carries with it a risk of the irresponsible exercise of authority. Chapter 2 group dynamics university of south africa. A social group is an entity that has qualities which cannot be understood just by studying the individuals that make up the group. This process also occurs in therapy with the therapist acting as a.
Understanding groups as psychodynamic systems in the. First, it extends bion s framework, developing the concept of the work group in parallel with the basic assumptions. Our formalization combines both individual characteristics and group dynamics. The most important are his concepts of basic assumptions, group mentality, and the idea of the work group. It is not an exaggeration to say that kurt lewin had a profound impact on a generation of researchers and thinkers concerned with group dynamics. Bion and those who followed him at the tavistock clinic took the stance of observing and working with the group as a whole. Bions developmental theory and model of mind we now turn our attention to the genesis of the concept of containment in the work of wilfred bion. The work group is that aspect of group functioning which has to do with the primary task of the group what the group has formed to accomplish. He is asserting that the group is at the core of what it means to be a human being and that a group is both an external object and an active psychological element in the psyche of individuals. Bion s concluding observations become increasingly concerned with aspects of group dynamics in general, e. Gordon lawrence at the start of the section on group dynamics in w.
Post world war ii the kleinian study of the psychoses and bions theory of thinking. Bion s developmental theory and model of mind we now turn our attention to the genesis of the concept of containment in the work of wilfred bion. Groups and group dynamics psychotherapy foundation. A study of bions basic assumption groups sigmund karterud, 1989. Although a large portion of his early work was dedicated to understanding group dynamics pines, 1985, the forthcoming discussion will focus exclusively on the way bion understood individual development, and his conceptualizations about psychoanalytic work, especially as they related to cure. The intention of this article is to explore and develop wilfred bion s theory of groups, and to contribute to its wider application across the social sciences. Working as a psychiatrist during world war ii, he was one of the founders of group dynamics. Bions theory on thinking and its application to groups. In this mode it is creative, fluid and able to adopt, manage and work with tasks. The popularity and effectiveness of group development is evident from the number of studies that have been done into development in a team formation process. The two methods provide the practitioner with a rudimentary idea of binocular vision cw, iv, p. Bion s observations about the role of group processes in group dynamics are set out in experiences in groups where he refers to recurrent emotional states of groups as basic assumptions.
When acting as a basic assumption group, the group acts as a closed system whereby external realities are ignored and collective dynamics rule. Like many organizational theorists bion believed that a group members embrace a set of shared beliefs that functions in ways that are similar to the functions of culture in a societydefining correct behavior, establishing rituals, organizing status structures, and so on. The group therefore is always present and interwoven into our human experience. Nonetheless, bion always regarded his group and individual analytic work in his own words as different facets of the same phenomena. Wilfred bion was a potent and original contributor to psychoanalysis. Attention was rarely paid to the individual in the group, all attention was to the process of the group as a whole. This article attempts to redress the balance by ascribing equal importance to the notion of workgroup mentality. When we refer to group dynamics, we are viewing the group in its totality, and hence our perspective differs from one in which there is a summation of individual personal psychodynamics. Group dynamics group dynamics is a system of behaviors and. Pdf chapter 2 group dynamics vishnu prasad academia. In this mode the group has adopted a defensive posture as a result of underlying conflict and anxiety and this defensive posture may take one of three forms. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Group dynamics group dynamics is a system of behaviors and psychological processes occurring within a social group intragroup dynamics, or between social groups intergroup dynamics. In summar y, bion noticed that ever y group has a task that they consciously strive to fulfill.
While bion is most well known outside of the psychoanalytic community for his work on group dynamics, the. Group dynamics group dynamics is a system of behaviors. In the united kingdom, group psychotherapy initially developed independently, with pioneers s. Intragroup tensions in therapy their study as the task of the group1 the term group therapy can have two meanings. A critical examination of bions concept of containment. As a result, winnicotts theory of holding has stood alongside bion s theory of containercontained until recent efforts at comparison. The boundaries of group dynamics response to exploring individual and organisational boundaries, edited by w. This article attempts to redress the balance by ascribing equal importance to the notion of work group mentality. Kurt lewin 18901947 was a social psychologist whose extensive work covered studies of leadership styles and their effects, work on group decisionmaking, the development of force field theory, the unfreezechangerefreeze change management model, the action research approach to research, and the group dynamics. Bion suggested that groups operate simultaneously in two strictly contrasting ways, based on distinctive mental states, which he called basicassumption mentality and work group. The group assumes that it can only survive in its present state by either fighting or fleeing from the task. When this unconscious assumption is in play, people come to believe that the best creation will be a result of pairing up in twos, but unfortunately this means splitting up the group and results in increased levels of intra and intergroup conflict.
Applied group dynamics is concerned with the use of knowledge about group processes. Applied group dynamics is concerned with the use of knowledge about group. While bion s work contributed very significantly to the study of group dynamics, i believe that this book is likely to help only those readers interested in the historical development of group dynamics theory. After saying that, she looked directly at me matt, and i followed up by asking, what makes it hard to talk about it right now.
For bion the group is a living entity which functions on two levels. On the relationship of the individual to the group, he agrees with freud that a group instinct is not. Learn about wilfred bion s theory of team development, and how it can help your hrms team succeed. Bion s book experiences in groups, the author endorses melanie kleins view that at the beginning of life an individuals first. Aug 14, 2015 bions observations about the role of group processes in group dynamics are set out in experiences in groups where he refers to recurrent emotional states of groups as basic assumptions. Kurt lewin 18901947 was a social psychologist whose extensive work covered studies of leadership styles and their effects, work on group decisionmaking, the development of force field theory, the unfreezechangerefreeze change management model, the action research approach to research, and the group dynamics approach to training, especially in the form of tgroups. A study of bions basic assumption groups sigmund karterud.
Its direction became increasingly kleinian, which can be measured by looking at the textual differences between bion s 1952 initial paper, group dynamics. Bion introduces specific terms that describe these common features observed in various experiences. Freuds view of the dynamics of the group seems to me to require supplementing rather than correction bion, experiences in groups. Trotters instincts of the herd in peace and war 1 was an important influence on bions interest in group mentality. Nonlinear dynamics in work groups with bions basic. Learn about wilfred bions theory of team development, and how it can help your hrms team succeed. Wilfred bion british psychoanalyst that wrote extensively on groups and group processes in mid1900s, involved in tavistock institute irvin yalom popularized theory and practice of group. The result was his creative theory of assumptive cultures. He was a leading member in the kleinian school while in london, but his theories, which were always based in the phenomena of the analytic encounter, eventually revealed radical departures from both kleinian and freudian theory. Nonlinear dynamics in work groups with bions basic assumptions. A discussion of bions experiences in groups group analysis north. Wilfred bion s observations about the role of group processes in group dynamics are set out in experiences in groups where he refers to recurrent emotional states of groups as basic assumptions.
Group dynamicsthe basic assumptions of wilfred bion top. A group member, jillian, who was usually active and emotionally available, alludedtoatroublingevent,butthensaid,idontwanttogetintoitrightnow. Redressing the balance in bion s experiences in groups. Understanding groups as psychodynamic systems in the context. In this first lecture freuds and bion s group psychologies are compared, critiqued. Bions work with traumatised soldiers during the second world war, and his role working with officer selection boards, helped form the basis of his ideas expressed later in the papers published asexperiences in groups. The psychodynamic approach to leadership study and development focuses on the dynamics of. Exclusive article from the hrms software experts at your resource for hr technology research and advice. He accepts freuds claim that the family group is the basis for all groups but adds. Understanding groups as psychodynamic systems in the context of racial and cultural factors theoretical framework t he theoretical framework that we work from in this text can broadly be called group relations theory, as a model for working with groups. Experiences in groups society for psychoanalytic inquiry. Wilfred bion contrasted the basic assumption group against the parallel and more normal work group. Bion s group dynamic theory can be divided into a general group dynamic part, a description of the basic assumptions fightflight, dependency and pairing, and a metapsychological explanation of the basic assumption phenomena. Wilfred bion 18971979 was born in muttra, northwest india, and was educated at boarding school in england where he was unhappy, missing his parents, his aya and the india he loved.
The history of group dynamics or group processes has a consistent, underlying premise. From bions three basic assumptions, a group leader plays the most important role in this one. Infact,youcanstepbackfromanygroupyouarepart of and ask yourself a number of questions about the systemic functioning and see many group systems concepts come to life. Group dynamics group dynamics, a term coined by kurt lewin, are the interacting forces that define how the whole group functions.1256 664 422 1031 1130 370 744 114 916 971 553 198 728 91 377 1075 1397 306 1413 9 518 1315 188 1213 27 325 823 396 622 1128 459 1131 264 103 419 1243 606 551 466 407 1072 198 1433 1484 1295