This book is a comprehensive revision of the notion of envy, suggesting that envy is not innate and proposing some fresh ideas about its relation to psychopathology. Its argument is that envy is not simply attributable to constitutional forces, as Melanie Klein proposed, but the outcome of a complex process that includes a disturbance in symbolic functioning. This is the first time a critical review has been undertaken in book from of this cornerstone of British psychoanalysis. As the concept of envy needs to be explored in the light of attachment theory, an important aim of this book is in bridging attachment theory and classic psychoanalytic understanding of severe psychopathology. It also offers, for the first time, not only a reconceptualisation of the notion of envy, but a working model of development which is highly relevant to clinical practice. This model incorporates recent findings from neuroscience, which indicate that environmental influences are of prime importance to infantile development, and that disturbed attachments result in anatomical, physiological and psychological developmental disturbances.
Patricia Polledri, PhD, is a forensic psychotherapist in private practice in London. She has spent many years furthering understanding of developmental psychopathology in order to produce a workable model that is relevant to clinical practice. She has developed her ideas both from clinical experience and from academic research at University College London Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, and at the University of Sussex, School of Law, Politics and Sociology.