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Klein, Winnicott and Bion: Clinical Convergence and Theoretical Differences  |  View Full Calendar

Presented by Professor Robert Hinshelwood, Professor Lesley Caldwell, Joseph Aguayo, Ph.D., David James Fisher, Ph.D. & John Lundgren, M.D.


Part 1: Thursday, March 23, 2017

Discussion of Winnicott’s 1962 Audio Recording of 'The Kleinian Development’

Discovered in the archives of NCP, we will listen to an audio recording of D.W. Winnicott’s justly famous critique of Melanie Klein’s theories and her London group.  Winnicott’s talk was given to the members and candidates of the Los Angeles Psychoanalytic Society and Institute on October 4, 1962.  Safely removed from the animosity and rivalry among the three training groups of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London, Winnicott gave an unvarnished view of the strengths and liabilities of the London Kleinian development up until the time of Mrs. Klein’s death in 1960.


Drs. David James Fisher and Joseph Aguayo will moderate a discussion with the audience in terms of Winnicott’s rather nuanced view of the Kleinian development, a movement that he knew intimately from his years of supervision in the 1930s and 40s with Mrs. Klein, and ‘Kleinist’ analysis with one of her close associates, Joan Riviere.  Issues covered include the play technique with children, the role of depressive and persecutory anxieties, and the classical Kleinian technique of analyzing the internal world.  We will also discuss where Winnicott took theoretical issue with the paranoid/schizoid anxieties and his sense as a pediatrician that Mrs. Klein conflated the emotional disturbances of young children with what in Winnicott’s view made infants ill.  His most enduring critique of Klein’s theory will be discussed, namely that she failed to take into sufficient consideration the environment of provision supplied by real mothers. 


Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this session, participants should be able to:

·   Explicate what Winnicott thought were the strengths of Mrs. Klein’s clinical ideas, especially as they pertain to the analysis of both young children and adult patients

·   Explicate what Winnicott thought were the liabilities and weaknesses of Mrs. Klein’s clinical ideas, particularly her ‘temperamental inability’ to factor in the role of the maternal environment

·   Describe some of the treatment implications of divergences between Winnicott and Klein, namely the move from an ‘internal world’ analysis of emotional disturbance to one where the role of the actual external object in the form of the environment of provision and the analyst’s subjective states are now factored into the treatment situation.


Part 2: Thursday, April 13, 2017 

Reconsidering the Contributions of Bion and Winnicott in the Context of the London Group

Dr. Joseph Aguayo discusses this recent paper, now in submission to The International Journal of Psychoanalysis.  The theoretical, clinical and small-group rivalries and animosities between independents such as Winnicott and Kleinians like Bion continued into the 1960s.  An argument is made that the insularity of the London Klein group now precluded public dialogue with members of groups whose views differed from theirs.  New evidence from The Collected Works of D.W. Winnicott (Oxford Univ. Press, 2016) is offered that makes a case for how persistent Winnicott was during the 1950s and 60s in his attempts to entreat various members of the London Klein group to dialogue with him about their differences.  One area of intense disagreement was around the role and definition of countertransference, and involved groundbreaking papers by both Winnicott and Paula Heimann on this subject.


Particular attention is given to aspects of Winnicott’s ‘Kleinian Development’ lecture (1962) which differ from his account published in 1965.  It is curious in light of how acquainted both Bion and Winnicott were with each other’s work that they published next to nothing about their varying approaches, especially during the time that they virtually alternated between being Presidents of the British Psychoanalytic Society between 1956 and 1968.  One riveting example of their intense differences will be discussed, namely Winnicott’s reaction to a 1964 Kleinian presentation on Bion’s epistemological monograph, Learning from Experience (1962). The Q & A portion will be moderated by Dr. John Lundgren.


Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this session, participants should be able to:

·   Describe how Bion and Winnicott continued the rivalry and theoretical antagonisms of the Klein group and Independents during the 1960s in London

·   Explain how Bion and Winnicott discussed their theoretical and clinical differences in non-public forums 

·   Identify some of the differences in their models of the infant’s mind based on different methodological considerations—the difference between the Kleinian ‘internal infant’ vis-à-vis Winnicott’s observed infant with its maternal caretaker


Part 3: Thursday, April 20, 2017

Dialogue on the Clinical and Theoretical Differences/Similarities between Bion and Winnicott

Our series culminates with a dialogue between two international experts on the clinical theories of Bion and Winnicott.  Professors Robert Hinshelwood and Lesley Caldwell will dialogue with one another on some of the core concepts associated with these two analytic pioneers.  These two members of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London are recognized for their contributions to the Bion and Winnicott literature.  Selections will be made from ideas, such as:  the ‘holding environment,’ ‘container/contained,’ the ‘role of the analyst’s subjective reactions and the countertransference,’ and the role of the external object.  We note here how unique it is in the new millennium to have members of what have been schools of analytic thought that have been long antagonistic to one another appear in public to discuss their clinical convergences and differences.  Ample room will be made for an exchange with the audience in a Q & A portion of the program.  This dialogue presentation will be moderated by Dr. Joseph Aguayo. 


Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this session, participants should be able to:

·   Explicate some of the key differences between Winnicott’s and Bion’s concepts, e.g., the

container/contained and the holding environment

·   Explicate some of the differences between Bion’s and Winnicott’s ideas about the role of the external object in their evolving theories of mind

·   Understand better why a public dialogue about clinical differences between Kleinians like Bion and independents like Winnicott has been so long in coming


Professor Robert Hinshelwood is Emeritus Professor of Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex.  Central among his numerous and prolific publications that span over 35 years is the classic Dictionary of Kleinian Thought, which was recently revised by a team of Kleinian analysts led by Elizabeth Spillius.  Most recently, he has co-edited a volume, Bion’s Sources, with Nino Torres. He enjoys traveling and lecturing in all three IPA regions around the world.  He is also a specialist in the history of Kleinian and Bionian psychoanalysis.


Professor Lesley Caldwell is Honorary Professor of the University College London Psychoanalysis Unit.  She is also a psychoanalyst in private practice affiliated with the British Psychoanalytic Association and a guest member of the British Psychoanalytical Society.  Most recently, she has been the joint general editor with Helen Taylor Robinson of the long-awaited 12-volume edition of The Complete Works of D.W. Winnicott (Oxford University Press, 2016).  She is a Training and Supervising Analyst for the IPA’s China Program and a training analyst for the London Independent Psychoanalytic Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Association (IPCAPA). She is also Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the Italian Department at University College London and has written and published in the areas of Italian cinema, the city of Rome, and the Italian family.


Joseph Aguayo, Ph.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California and is in private practice in West Los Angeles. He is also a Guest Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London.  He merges his clinical and research interests by numerous publications in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis on the clinical history of Kleinian and Bionian psychoanalysis.  His forthcoming book, Bion in Buenos Aires: Seminars and Supervision, is a co-edited project with Lia Pistiner de Cortinas and Agnes Regeczkey that will be formally launched at this summer’s IPA Congress in Buenos Aires. 


David James Fisher, Ph.D., is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, a Senior Faculty Member at the New Center for Psychoanalysis, and in private practice in West Los Angeles.  He is the author of Cultural Theory and Psychoanalytic Tradition and Bettelheim: Living and Dying.  Dr. Fisher’s research interests include the convergence of cultural history and psychoanalysis, the history of psychoanalysis, and the application of psychoanalysis to the understanding of cultural artifacts, such as film, literature and art.  He has published essays on Freud, Lacan, Spielrein, Stoller, Jacoby, Foucault, Winnicott and Grotstein. He has published clinical papers on erotic countertransference.  


John Lundgren, M.D., is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California and an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine.  He formerly served as Co-Director of the Tavistock Group Relations training program at the UCLA Department of Psychiatry. He is a member of the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems and its West Coast affiliate, GREX. He serves as a consultant to Tavistock Group Relations conferences and is presently exploring the integration of this training model with psychoanalytic training. He is in private practice of psychoanalysis in Beverly Hills, CA.


Program coordinators: Joseph Aguayo, Ph.D., John Lundgren, M.D., and David James Fisher, Ph.D. 


Three Thursdays: March 23, April 13 and April 20, 2017, 8 PM-10 PM  

*6 CE credits offered ( 2 CE credits for each lecture)

$150 is the flat fee for this package of three presentations


Target Audience: Clinicians, interns, students, and scholars with an interest in psychoanalysis

Location: NCP Auditorium, 2014 Sawtelle Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

Pre-registration is required and is on a first come, first served basis. 

Registration begins on January 20 and must be completed online at:


How to obtain lecture paper:

Once registrants are officially enrolled with RegPack, they can email Joseph Aguayo, Ph.D., at and request a copy of his Winnicott and Bion paper.  This is the only paper that will be emailed for this series of presentations. 








IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of these CME/CE programs have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.



These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The American Psychoanalytic Association designates these Live Activities for the maximum of 6 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.



The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for its programs and content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.



The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an approved provider for continuing education credits for LCSWs and MFCCs/MFTs (provider # PCE 674). These courses meet the qualifications for 6 continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Please see the individual program for the number of CE credits awarded for each course. Only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity may be claimed for credit.



The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the

California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may

claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.



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Personal checks can be mailed to

New Center for Psychoanalysis

2014 Sawtelle Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025

Or Phone-In Registration: (310) 478-6541, Ext. 10


PARKING: Limited parking is available behind the NCP building with entry on Beloit Ave.