Silent Virtues addresses six areas of mental functioning namely patience, curiosity, privacy, intimacy, humility, and dignity. Each of the areas is elucidated with the help of clinical, literary, and cultural material. The book introduces a series of novel ideas, including: (i) the distinction between patience as a component of the therapeutic attitude and the exercise of patience as a specific technical intervention; (ii) the description of the five psychopathological syndromes involving curiosity: excessive, deficient, uneven, anachronistic, instinctualized, and false curiosity; (iii) the description of four psychopathological syndromes (failed, florid, fluctuating, and false) involving intimacy; (iv) the discourse on the importance of humility in selecting patients and in deciding upon the longevity of our professional careers; and (v) the description of three forms of dignity (metaphysical, existential, and characterological) and the various ways in which they affect psychoanalytic technique.
"In a style that is at once intimate, well-researched and engaging, Salman Akhtar takes the reader through an exploration of patience, curiosity, privacy, intimacy, humility and dignity –matters that are rarely considered within the psychoanalytic realm. Drawing on poetry, personal reminiscences, and clinical moments that shimmer with delicate truths, Akhtar shines a light on psychic experiences that reside in the interior spaces of the mind and are integral to shaping one’s core sense of being in the world. He examines benevolent and malignant forms of each trait and imparts clinical, developmental, and cultural insights with great wit, generosity and wisdom." --Anne J. Adelman, Ph.D, is a faculty member of the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis, and, most recently, the editor of Psychoanalytic Reflections on Parenting Teens and Young Adults (Routledge, 2018).
"In this important book, Salman Akhtar offers an unexpected and enlivening proposal : that we should stop arguing about what makes us sick and start paying more attention to what makes us healthy, especially to the 'silent virtues' of patience, curiosity, privacy, intimacy, humility, and dignity. Akhtar' generative and thought-provoking account of these virtues constitutes a profoundly moral vision of I-Thou relatedness as both the means ( as strived for by the analyst ) and the end ( as dis-covered by the patient first from without and then from within, by the patient) of the psychoanalytic process." --Elio Frattaroli, MD, Faculty Member, Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia; author of Healing the Soul in the Age of the Brain (2001)
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS; ABOUT THE AUTHOR; INTRODUCTION; PART I: SENSING AND SEARCHING; CHAPTER ONE: Patience;CHAPTER TWO: Curiosity; PART II: RESTRAINING AND RELATING: CHAPTER THREE: Privacy; CHAPTER FOUR: Intimacy; PART III: TITRATING AND TRANSCENDING; CHAPTER FIVE: Humility; CHAPTER SIX: Dignity; REFERENCES; INDEX