Wilfred Bion

Wilfred Bion was a British psychoanalyst (the Mental Health Industry) of the Tavistock Institute. He was a member of the Legion of Honour. He was educated at University College London. Neuroscientist Wilfred Totter (friend of Sigmund Freud, papers on herd mentality) was his mentor. Totter influenced propaganda specialist Edward Bernays. He worked with modernist Samuel Beckett. He married actress Betty Jardine, who played in 20th Century Fox movies with Margaret Lockwood (The Rank Organisation) and Michael Redgrave (Information Research Department with George Orwell). He conducted experiments of group dynamics at Hollymoor Hospital in Birmingham with John Rickman (Quaker, Leighton Park school with Lionel Penrose, St Thomas hospital) for the Royal Army Medical Corps and Tavistock.

He trained Sigmund Fuchs (affiliated with Frankfurt School) and Patrick de Maré who trained David Bohm (Caltech, student of Robert Oppenheimer, relationship with feminist Betty Friedan, holonomic model of the brain). Fuchs and de Maré founded the Group Analytic Society with sociologist and Zionist Norbert Elias (student of Karl Jaspers).

From 1945 he worked with Melanie Klein. After her death he became chairman of the Melanie Klein Trust.  He gave a lecture on schizophrenia at the 18th international psychoanalytical congress.

From 1962 to 1965 he was president of the British Psychoanalytical Society. His grid with O-grams is based on Kabbalah.

In 1965 RD Laing worked with the Esalen Institute and conducted an anti psychiatry experiment/publicity stunt at Kingsley Hall, associated with Fabian Society puppet Mahatmi Gandhi, similar to the group therapy experiment of Bion at Northfield. His assistent Axel Jensen lived on the Greek island Hydra with Leonard Cohen.

From 1968 to 1978 he lived at Los Angeles.

His daughter died in a car crash in 1998.

born 9/8/1897.

died 8/28/1979.


1958 On Hallucination

1962 Learning From Experience 

1963 The Grid 

1963 Elements from Psychoanalysis

1967 Second Thoughts

1970 Attention and Interpretation


Melanie Klein