A Healing Conversation: How Healing Happens

Author(s) : Neville Symington

A Healing Conversation: How Healing Happens

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2006
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 160
  • Category :
  • Catalogue No : 22699
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855753594
  • ISBN 10 : 1855753596

Also by Neville Symington

Narcissism: A New Theory

Narcissism: A New Theory

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How is it that someone can be healed of mental illness through talking with another person? This is what Neville Symington examines in this book. He believes that a person in their innermost being registers the essential character of the other person. The senses detect the outer contours of the personality but a deeper form of knowledge connects directly to the other person's inner being. Healing comes about if the inner world of the one is guided by principles that transcend the particular and this fosters a giving-ness in the one and the other. The egoism in each is then subsumed into a higher unity which results in a new subjective understanding. Personal understanding is a sign that a new ordering of the inner ingredients of the personality has taken place; that the form of being in the one has the capacity to generate in the other this new way of being.

The author explores this fundamental reality that underlies human communication and teases out how this brings about healing. He believes that this has existed wherever there has been true friendship within civilization, and that psychotherapy and psychoanalysis attempts to distil this essence and apply it in a clinical setting.

Reviews and Endorsements

'The question is this: how is it that a person who has a problem is able to resolve it through conversation with another? Symington’s answer rests upon Einstein’s insight: some relations are of the essence of the things related. Symington’s relational account of persons challenges our conventional understanding to the breaking point: by reconceptualizing emotions, persons and human relations, we break through to a brilliant new way of understanding the work of psychiatrists and psychotherapists. One must expect that Symington’s relational account of persons will affect our psychiatry as deeply as Einstein’s work affected our physics.'
- Dr Peter March, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

'Neville Symington’s ideas of how a dialogue can heal are radical and profound. Written without jargon or portentousness, this book learnedly, yet clearly, explores the ways in which honest and open human interaction can be deeply restorative. It is above all a humane book, intelligent, well-written, and credible and yet its theme is a very simple one, without ever being simple-minded. It deserves to become a classic in the evolving story of how words spoken between two people can enlighten and cure.'
- Salley Vickers, Author of Miss Garnet’s Angel

About the Author(s)

Neville Symington is a member of the British and Australian Psychoanalytical Societies. His books include Narcissism: A New Theory, The Making of a Psychotherapist, A Pattern of Madness and Becoming a Person Through Psychoanalysis (all published by Karnac Books); The Analytic Experience, and The Clinical Thinking of Wilfred Bion (written with Joan Symington). He has a private psychoanalytic practice in New South Wales, Australia.

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