Joseph Aguayo, Ph.D.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

8:30am to 9:00am Registration

9:00am to 12:00pm Presentation

Reconsidering the Contributions of Bion and Winnicott: Then and Now

In the first part of this presentation, Dr. Joseph Aguayo will discuss his review article, ‘A Lecture Tour of Wilfred Bion’s Complete Works,’ that appeared in the February, 2017 issue of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Dr. Aguayo will explore what Bion’s unpublished writings add to our knowledge of his clinical theories. He takes up what is distinctive and current about Bion’s World War I reminiscences, how Bion as an army psychiatrist worked with intra-group tensions, then translated his method to peacetime groups at the Tavistock Clinic after World War II. Dr. Aguayo will cover Bion’s Kleinian period, the psychosis papers of the 1950s, which formed the basis of the epistemological monographs of the 1960s. He pays special attention to the controversial ‘late’ or ‘California’ period (1968-1979) during which time Bion distilled the clinical method of inquiry he had spent so many years evolving.

In the second part of the presentation, Dr. Aguayo will discuss his article ‘Reconsidering the Contributions of D.W. Winnicott and W.R. Bion,’ in which he contrasts what makes the Kleinian understanding of disturbed states of mind different from the way in which D.W. Winnicott understood similar disturbances. Crucial differences, such as Bion’s marginalization of the patient’s early history vis-à-vis Winnicott’s insistence on a detailed early history of analytic patients will be discussed. He will also explore the difference between Bion’s concept of ‘container/contained’ and Winnicott’s emphasis on ‘holding.’ Lastly, Winnicott’s critique of the London Klein group will be explicated in terms of how he thought that Klein (and by extension Bion) conflated what ailed the young child with what ailed babies as cared for by their mothers.

Learning Goals and Objectives

Participants will be able to:

1) Explicate how Bion’s war-time experiences figure in his subsequent psychological theorizing in the group relations situation, either in war or peace-time.

2) Explicate how Bion’s Kleinian work on psychosis pre-figured the contemporary understanding of borderline and narcissistic-spectrum psychopathology.

3) Explain some of the seminar analytic contributions, such as the technical abandonment of ‘memory and desire,’ in his ‘late’ ‘California period’ (1968-1979).

4) Explain how Bion and Winnicott regarded the role of the patient’s early history in their respective analytic approaches.

5)Explain the difference between Bion’s idea of ‘container/contained’ and Winnicott’s notion of ‘holding.’


Joseph Aguayo, Ph.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California, and is also in private practice in West Los Angeles. He is a Guest Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London and holds UCLA doctorates in both Clinical Psychology and European History.

Aguayo’s recent book is a co-edited project with Barnet Malin: Bion’s Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision (Karnac Books, 2013). He co-authored a recent paper, Aguayo, J. and Regeczkey, A. ‘Rethinking the Role of Small-Group Collaborators and Adversaries in the London Kleinian Development: 1914-1968’ in the August 2016 issue of the Psychoanalytic Quarterly.

Next year, he will publish Bion in Buenos Aires: Seminars and Supervisions, with co-editors Lia Pistiner de Cortinas and Agnes Regeczkey.


St. Anthony Hospital
Rapp Foundation Conference Center
535 NW 9th, 4th Floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Map to the Rapp Center

Registration by Mail

If you prefer to register by mail, please print off the following brochure and mail it with your check to: OSPS, PO Box 12683, Oklahoma City, OK 73157. If you have questions about registration, please email Kay Smith at

Joseph Aguayo Brochure