Houston Psychoanalytic Society

Online Study Group

An Introduction to Bion’s Clinical Work

An Online Seminar Series Facilitated by

Joseph Aguayo, PhD

4 Monday Evenings

August 5, 12, 19 & 26, 2024

7:30 PM - 9:00 PM Central Time

Live via Zoom

Sessions will not be recorded

Registration Fees

HPS Full Members: $160

HPS Student Members: $80

Non-members: $200

6 CEU/CE Credits

Instructional Level: Beginning to Advanced


A Note from the HPS Program Chair: It is fairly common for graduates of contemporary psychoanalytic institutes in the U.S. to comment that their training provided little exposure to Kleinian or Bionian ways of working. Given that our HPS educational programs in 2024-2025 will focus on post-Bionian analytic field theory, this seminar series is being presented as a foundational introduction to the clinical work of Wilfred Bion. It is intended for clinicians who have little familiarity with Bion’s theories, and those wanting a refresher. We are lucky that our seminars are being led by Joseph Aguayo, a scholar who has written and presented extensively about Bion. I know firsthand that Aguayo is a gifted teacher who can present Bion’s ideas in a clear, comprehensible manner. Enjoy!

JoAnn Ponder, PhD  

This seminar, appropriate for beginning to advanced-level psychoanalytic clinicians, involves reading the most accessible of all of Wilfred Bion's clinical lectures, the Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision. Originally given in 1967 to a group of Freudian-oriented American analysts, Bion started his seminars with no assumptions that anyone knew anything about his work, so he “spoke in plain English”! The ensuing lectures have been described as lively and engaging. They begin with Bion’s ideas about the need for the analyst to approach treatment sessions without memory and desire, ideas that have become bedrock in contemporary Kleinian clinical technique. Guided by Joseph Aguayo (also someone who can express ideas in simple language), our HPS seminars will proceed from memory and desire to Bion’s concepts of projective identification, container/contained, and reverence and awe. We will explore these concepts and consider how they apply to clinical work. There may not be a great deal of time for individual participation in our discussions in the event of a large seminar group, however, in that we do not plan to cap the registrations.

All readings come from the book, Wilfred Bion: Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision, edited by Joseph Aguayo and Barnet Malin (Routledge, 2013). Seminar participants are responsible for accessing their own copy of the book.   


Joseph Aguayo, PhD is a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of California in West Los Angeles, USA. He is a Guest Member of the British Psychoanalytical Society in London. He holds doctorates from the University of California, Los Angeles in clinical psychology and modern European history. Dr. Aguayo has authored one book and co-edited three others about Bion: Wilfred Bion: Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision (with Malin, 2013), Bion in Buenos Aires: Seminars, Case Presentation and Supervision (with de Cortinas and Regeczkey, 2017), Introducing the Clinical Work of Wilfred Bion (2023), and Bion in the Consulting Room: An Implicit Method of Clinical Inquiry (with Hinshelwood, Dermen, and Abel-Hirsch, 2024). Dr. Aguayo’s papers about Bion’s ideas have been published in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Quarterly.


All assigned readings come from the book, Wilfred Bion: Los Angeles Seminars and Supervision

August 5, 2024

Foreword, Introduction & First Seminar, pp. xi-31


  1. Explain and give an example of Bion’s concept of memory and desire.
  2. Describe the analyst’s paranoid-schizoid and depressive positions.

August 12, 2024

Second Seminar, pp. 33-54


  1. Describe and give an example of the process of projective identification.
  2. Explain what Bion meant by container/contained.

August 19, 2024

Third Seminar & Fourth Seminar, pp. 55-105


  1. Summarize how Bion might treat a psychotic patient.
  2. Summarize Bion’s treatment of a borderline psychotic patient.

August 26, 2024

Psychoanalytic Case Presentation & Wilfred R. Bion: Notes on Memory and Desire, pp. 107-149 


  1. Explain why an analyst might abandon memory and desire in certain clinical cases.
  2. Describe some implications of abandoning memory and desire.

Additional References (partial list):

Aguayo, J. (2022). “Reappraising John O. Wisdom’s critique of W.R. Bion’s Learning from Experience at a meeting of the British Psychoanalytical Society—17 October 1964”. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 103: 350-367.

Aguayo, J. (2018). D.W. Winnicott, Melanie Klein, and W.R. Bion: The controversy over the nature of the external object—Holding and container/contained (1941-1967). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 87: 767-807.

Aguayo, J. (2014). Bion's notes on memory and desire - Its initial clinical reception in the United States: A note on archival material. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 95: 889-910.

IMAGE of W. R. Bion provided by J. Aguayo


Houston Psychoanalytic Society is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Houston Psychoanalytic Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

HPS, through co-sponsorship with the Center for Psychoanalytic Studies, also offers approved CEUs for Texas state-approved social workers, licensed professional counselors, and marriage and family therapists.
1302 Waugh Dr. #276, Houston, TX 77019
(713) 429-5810
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