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Expanding the Capacity to Think and Feel: The Work of Wilfred Bion

Event number: 17529
6 CPD hours
Presenter(s): Duncan Cartwright

One of Wilfred Bion’s most important contributions to understanding emotional life concerns his idea that the capacity to think and feel is dependent on our ability to process experience. From this point of view, the capacity to think or feel cannot be taken for granted. Bion emphasizes the processes of reverie, containment and dream-work as essential aspects of developing such mental capacities. The search for emotional ‘truth’ is also an essential feature of his model. 

Although never coherently developed into a single theory, Bion’s ideas have fostered novel therapeutic approaches that attempt to help the patient access, contain, ‘suffer’ and process unbearable experience, in ways that develop greater emotional flexibility and self-reflection. This workshop will explore some of these ideas and illustrate their usefulness in clinical practice.

Learning outcomes: 

At the end of this workshop, participants will have

  • Explored the main theoretical ideas put forward by Wilfred Bion and their implications for psychotherapeutic technique;
  • Explored the practical application of these ideas through clinical case material;
  • Discussed the implications of this approach for working with different pathologies with a focus on personality disorder;
  • Been provided the opportunity to work with a case (provided by a participant) to think about and integrate.


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About the presenter(s)

Duncan Cartwright is head of the Centre for Applied Psychology, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. He is part-time private practice. He is the author of Psychoanalysis, Violence and Rage-Type Murder (Routledge, 2002) and Containing States of Mind (Routledge, 2010).


8.30am registration and 9.00am - 5.00pm workshop

Cost includes all materials, morning & afternoon tea and lunch.

Please note any dietary requirements on registration

Online registration


Robertson Gardens Function Centre
281 Kessels Road
Nathan, QLD 4111
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Start date: 22/5/2017
End date: 22/5/2017
Time: 9.00 am to 5.00 pm


APS member, CCOUNP member $165
APS student member, CCOUNP member $90
APS member: $200
APS student member: $90
Non APS member: $295


APS - College of Counselling Psychologists - QLD
Contact Dave Misso
07 3342 1838