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White, P. (2011). On the Capacity for Gratitude. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 19(2):229-251.

(2011). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 19(2):229-251

On the Capacity for Gratitude

Patricia White

Translated by:
Yolande Amzallag

Noting that gratitude in the analytic situation is seldom remarked or analyzed, this paper begins by offering some clinical examples and a survey of the words we use to speak about gratitude (and related experiences and phenomena). It identifies gratitude's conceptualizations, outlines its periphery and borders (what it is and what it is not), exploring the existing psychoanalytic literature. It locates gratitude's basis in the mutuality of the mother-child dyad and tracks its developmental line, observing factors that interfere with its development. The paper concludes with some observations on social forms of gratitude.

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