Shame. Envy. Guilt. Disappointment. Humiliation. Dejection. Anxiety.
Everyone deals with these "bad" feelings. They are ubiquitous to human experience. However, when we consciously push troubling feelings aside and then avoid them, we should be under no illusions that such repression empowers us to lead untroubled lives. The price that we pay, simply, is feeling less alive.
This book demonstrates how psychoanalytic understanding can reduce the painfulness of negative feelings and increase our tolerance for emotional pain. With one chapter dedicated to each "bad" feeling, this work can enable freedom from frightening, vengeful, and guilt-ridden fantasies, decrease reliance on passive and masochistic ways of being, and increase our ability to take pleasure in the body, to enjoy relations with others, the use of one's assets, and to take pride in one's achievements. These changes outweigh the emotional pains that we inevitably suffer by living, and they help us feel that it is worth our while to enjoy a lively existence.
"Replete with generous and self-observant clinical illustrations, along with practical wisdom and advice, BAD FEELINGS provides a unique window into the envy, humiliation, disappointment, and despair suffered by both patient and analyst. Schafer's clinical integrations advance the dialogue across an historical gulf, and we are all the beneficiaries of his work."
-Henry F. Smith, editor, The Psychoanalytic Quarterly
"Roy Schafer has written a cameo masterpiece. Beautifully clear, clinically incisive and intensely human, this is a book by a deep Freudian thinker whose work has been influenced by a profound understanding of successive waves in the modern revolution in psychoanalytic thinking."
-David Tuckett, University College London
Table of Contents
A Joyless Life
Disappointment and Disappointedness
Forms of Extreme Shame: Humiliation and Mortification
Envy: Revisiting Melanie Klein's "Envy and Gratitude"
The Psychotherapist's Absence
Defenses against Goodness
Experiencing Terminatino: Authentic and False Depressive Positions
Painful Progress: The Negative Therapeutic Reaction Reconceived