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Hinshelwood, B. (1991). Editorial. Brit. J. Psychother., 7(4):321-322.

(1991). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 7(4):321-322


Bob Hinshelwood

Three papers on envy were given at the Conference of The Institute of Psychotherapy and Counselling. The number of related emotional states which orbit within the gravitational field of the concept of envy seems to be large; it is a ‘base passion, drawing the worst passions in its train’: rivalry, competitiveness, jealousy, separation anxiety and the constructive aspects of destructiveness. The close connections that exist between these various painful mental states demonstrated by these papers do seem to confirm for envy the central position that it has classically had within psycho-analysis, in the form of penis envy. As one of the forms, perhaps the worst form, of animosity to life, it is important to chart the routes by which emotional movement towards the other related and ultimately assertively creative powers can take place.

Developmental steps were the intricate topic of last year's Public Lecture given by Margot Waddell. The way in which psychological processes of maturation can be reflected in works of art, notably the novel, is one possible way of looking at the validity of psychological ideas. George Eliot provides a rich source of prepsychoanalytic insights, but Margot Waddell mines these works of imagination for their revelation of the contemporary concept of mental growth through containment of the passions.

It is not only words which have meanings. Andrea Sabbadini argues lucidly for the value of silences. They have a meaning, representing the places for words which would have been there had they not been prevented from utterance.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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