Monday, December 26, 2011

Why We Wrote The Guilt Cure

by Pennington & Staples

As work on our first book Guilt with a Twist unfolded, we began to notice that the importance of guilt extended far beyond its moral purposes and functions. We began to see that guilt’s place in the maintenance of the moral and legal order was far less important than guilt’s role in psychic self-regulation and in the creation and maintenance of human consciousness. Near the end of Guilt With A Twist we realized we had hit upon some ground breaking ideas that advanced a new theory of guilt. We touched on these broader and more important ideas of guilt but didn’t explore them in any depth. Because of the limited treatment, they ran the risk of being lost or overlooked in the swarm of other themes and materials. The fear of losing these ideas among less important material prompted us to write The Guilt Cure.

In Guilt with a Twist, we focused on the necessity to incur guilt in order to live life fully. We explored in depth the ways guilt, in its conventional role of maintaining the legal and moral order, could interfere with psychological development. In The Guilt Cure, we focus on the necessity to incur guilt if we are to live at all.

In our more than 25 years of practice, we have accumulated an enormous amount of material that is relevant to dealing with guilt in a clinical setting. Because of guilt’s paradoxical and contradictory nature, the clinical material did not fit as well in Guilt With A Twist as it does The Guilt Cure. Guilt has a profound effect on our mental health and wellbeing and we were glad that this very important and interesting material lent itself to integration with the other contents of The Guilt Cure.

Nancy Carter Pennington received her MSW from The University of Maryland. For more than 30 years, Nancy has had the privilege of working with clients on a range of issues: phobias, OCD, grief, depression, obsessive thinking, guilt, and relationships. Lawrence H. Staples is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Washington, DC. Dr. Staples has an MBA from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in psychology; his special areas of interest are the problems of midlife, guilt, and creativity. He is the author of Guilt with a Twist: The Promethean Way and The Creative Soul: Art and the Quest for Wholeness.

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