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Joseph, B. (1986). Envy in Everyday Life. Psychoanal. Psychother., 2(1):13-22.

(1986). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 2(1):13-22

Envy in Everyday Life

Miss Betty Joseph

This paper aims to describe and discuss the notion of envy, from its most simple and conscious manifestations, to its deeply destructive and spoiling ones, both conscious and unconscious; to see it as an inevitable part of mental life and everyday living. If envy is too powerful and not sufficiently mitigated by love, it will disturb normal relations with people and the building up of a healthy and comfortable character structure; and will contribute to serious emotional difficulties. The pain of envy leads us to attempt to build various differing defences which are described here. Brief case material is quoted to show envy in operation during analytical treatment and the aims of therapy are discussed in terms of bringing about greater integration between the various conflicting forces and so lessening the vicious circle that insufficiently mitigated envy tends to perpetuate.

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