Attention, Cooperation, Purpose

An Approach to Working in Groups Using Insights from Wilfred Bion
by Robert French
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Publisher: Taylor and Francis

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

ISBN: 9780429911118

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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This book describes an approach based on attention that can help individuals and groups to cooperate more effectively. It presents the first book-length reassessment of Wilfred Bion's ideas on groups. Every group has a purpose or purposes - or, as Bion put it, "every group, however casual, meets to 'do' something." The approach described here shows how individual group members' use of attention - both broad or "evenly suspended" and focused - can promote a better understanding of purpose, making it possible for them to do what they have met to do. This work of attention enables group members to maintain a clear sense of their purpose and also to recognise how easily they can become distracted, losing focus and dispersing their energies into activities that are off task. The approach builds on the authors' experience of using Bion's insights into group dynamics over twenty-five years in different contexts, formal and informal, as group members, managers, leaders, teachers, consultants, researchers, family members, and friends.