Ordinary Unhappiness

12: From Parties to Projective Identification: Why is Group Life so Hard? feat. Christine Smallwood

June 10, 2023 Patrick & Abby Episode 12
12: From Parties to Projective Identification: Why is Group Life so Hard? feat. Christine Smallwood
Ordinary Unhappiness
More Info
Ordinary Unhappiness
12: From Parties to Projective Identification: Why is Group Life so Hard? feat. Christine Smallwood
Jun 10, 2023 Episode 12
Patrick & Abby

Abby and Patrick welcome novelist and literary critic Christine Smallwood, author of The Life of the Mind. They discuss the novel’s protagonist Dorothy (who hires a second therapist to talk about her relationship with her first therapist) and Christine’s approach to psychoanalysis as a framework for thinking about everyday life. Then they turn to Wilfred Bion’s landmark 1961 book Experiences in Groups. They discuss the ways that group life and group experiences are frustrating and emotionally intense, from group chats to reading groups to classrooms to parties to military maneuvers; Bion’s notion of the various “basic assumptions” that underlie every group; projection versus projective identification; and counter-transference as a source of genuine insight. Plus, Dan explains how Bion helped him life-hack (and exit) corporate America!

You can find The Life of the Mind here:
https://bookshop.org/p/books/the-life-of-the-mind-christine-smallwood/14793178
 
Links to some of Christine’s recent writing mentioned in the episode are here:
https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2023/04/06/the-exorcist-the-shards-bret-easton-ellis/
https://www.nybooks.com/online/2023/04/06/poor-torvey-a-dolls-house/

And here is a recent NYRB interview with her:
https://www.nybooks.com/online/2023/04/22/infiltrating-literature-christine-smallwood/

Have you noticed that Freud is back? Got questions about psychoanalysis? Or maybe you’ve traversed the fantasy and lived to tell the tale? Leave us a voicemail! 484 775-0107
 
 A podcast about psychoanalysis, politics, pop culture, and the ways we suffer now. New episodes on Saturdays. Follow us on social media:
 
 Linktree: https://linktr.ee/OrdinaryUnhappiness
Twitter: @UnhappinessPod
Instagram: @OrdinaryUnhappiness
Patreon: patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

Theme song:
Formal Chicken - Gnossienne No. 1
https://open.spotify.com/album/2MIIYnbyLqriV3vrpUTxxO
Provided by Fruits Music

Show Notes

Abby and Patrick welcome novelist and literary critic Christine Smallwood, author of The Life of the Mind. They discuss the novel’s protagonist Dorothy (who hires a second therapist to talk about her relationship with her first therapist) and Christine’s approach to psychoanalysis as a framework for thinking about everyday life. Then they turn to Wilfred Bion’s landmark 1961 book Experiences in Groups. They discuss the ways that group life and group experiences are frustrating and emotionally intense, from group chats to reading groups to classrooms to parties to military maneuvers; Bion’s notion of the various “basic assumptions” that underlie every group; projection versus projective identification; and counter-transference as a source of genuine insight. Plus, Dan explains how Bion helped him life-hack (and exit) corporate America!

You can find The Life of the Mind here:
https://bookshop.org/p/books/the-life-of-the-mind-christine-smallwood/14793178
 
Links to some of Christine’s recent writing mentioned in the episode are here:
https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2023/04/06/the-exorcist-the-shards-bret-easton-ellis/
https://www.nybooks.com/online/2023/04/06/poor-torvey-a-dolls-house/

And here is a recent NYRB interview with her:
https://www.nybooks.com/online/2023/04/22/infiltrating-literature-christine-smallwood/

Have you noticed that Freud is back? Got questions about psychoanalysis? Or maybe you’ve traversed the fantasy and lived to tell the tale? Leave us a voicemail! 484 775-0107
 
 A podcast about psychoanalysis, politics, pop culture, and the ways we suffer now. New episodes on Saturdays. Follow us on social media:
 
 Linktree: https://linktr.ee/OrdinaryUnhappiness
Twitter: @UnhappinessPod
Instagram: @OrdinaryUnhappiness
Patreon: patreon.com/OrdinaryUnhappiness

Theme song:
Formal Chicken - Gnossienne No. 1
https://open.spotify.com/album/2MIIYnbyLqriV3vrpUTxxO
Provided by Fruits Music