The Therapist’s Container in Practice
The practice of psychotherapy involves the interaction of two personalities and realities. This dissertation focuses on the experiences of the therapist; largely his ability to contain and his contribution to his own emotional experiences. Viewed primarily through the lens of Bion’s theory, accompanied by an expert interview with Neville Symington this systematic investigation explores containment in practice; and equally how the containing capacity might be diminished through the therapist’s own ‘attacks on linking’.
Clinical recommendations are made on how therapists’ containing capacity can be enhanced, as well as how therapists’ attacks on linking can be prevented. The results of the study contribute to an understanding of the interpersonal and intersubjective nature of the therapeutic relationship where both therapists’ and patients’ contributions must be considered.