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Good Stuff: Courage, Resilience, Gratitude, Generosity, Forgiveness, and Sacrifice

by Salman Akhtar Rowman and Littlefield
Pub Date:
Pbk 220 pages
AU$77.99 NZ$80.86
Product Status: Available in Approx 5 days
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By elucidating the origins, dynamics, social pleasures, and clinical benefits of courage, resilience, gratitude, generosity, forgiveness, and sacrifice, Good Stuff sheds light on a corner of human experience that has remained inadequately understood by psychoanalysts and other mental health professionals.

Part I: Positive Attributes
1. Courage
2. Resilience
3. Gratitude
Part II: Positive Actions
4. Generosity
5. Forgiveness
6. Sacrifice
About the Author

Contrary to what its title suggests, this is not a self-help book but a relatively dense psychoanalytic exploration of its subject matter. Akhtar (psychiatry, Jefferson Medical College) draws primarily on classic psychoanalysts (e.g., Karl Abraham and Melanie Klein), more recent contributors to the field (e.g., Donald Winnicott), his own clinical experience, and other sources, while also making references to popular culture and thinkers outside the psychoanalytic movement. Although the writing is quite technical, the book is well written and will appeal to anyone interested in the topics addressed. For example, the discussion of courage in patients and psychotherapists is compelling. This book exemplifies the strength and limitations of relatively orthodox psychoanalytic theorizing and practice: provocative and experientially grounded insights are intermixed with assertions based on assumptions accepted within the psychoanalytic community but less than self-evident to psychotherapists with other orientations. Summing Up: Recommended.
Salman Akhtar, MD, is a professor of psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College, and training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. His numerous authored and edited books include The Damaged Core, Immigration and Acculturation, Comprehensive Dictionary of Psychoanalysis, The Crescent and the Couch, Freud and the Far East, and The African American Experience.