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Tip: To sort articles by year…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

After you perform a search, you can sort the articles by Year. This will rearrange the results of your search chronologically, displaying the earliest published articles first. This feature is useful to trace the development of a specific psychoanalytic concept through time.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Symington, N. (2008). Generosity of Heart: Source of Sanity. Brit. J. Psychother., 24(4):488-500.

(2008). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 24(4):488-500

Generosity of Heart: Source of Sanity

Neville Symington

The component parts of love are generosity, gratitude and forgiveness, and the focus of the paper is on generosity, arguing that the source of sanity lies in generosity of heart. Madness as a condition springs from the absence of love. Psychoanalysis itself can promote either mean-minded or generous responses to the patient, and I give clinical vignettes to illustrate this belief. Scientific and religious approaches to ‘the real’ are discussed, and I emphasize the idea of the mind as an active power in grasping reality. Religion safeguards the creative power of the mind, in particular the world's mystical traditions. I consider the relationship between inner autonomy and creativity, and make links with Bion's concept of O, emphasizing that the spiritual is woven into the very fabric of what we do as psychoanalysts and psychotherapists.

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