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Envy: The Emotion that Devours the Self

An online webinar 

Speaker: Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn

Date: 9 February 2022, Wednesday
Location: Online streaming only (
all our webinar tickets now include complimentary access to a video recorded version for 1 year)
Times: 6:00pm to 9:00pm, London, UK time
CPD hours: 3

Early bird ticket price per delegate for online streaming + video recording of the event: £56

Webinar attendance links can now be downloaded directly from your ticket.

For more information on how to access webinar joining links, handouts and video recordings please click here

“They’ll either want to kill you, kiss you, or be you.” ― Suzanne Collins, Mockingjay

Part of the deadly sins, an extremely unpleasant emotion to handle and a terrifying one to be at the receiving end of – Envy, has always carried moral overtones and internal censorship. Freud found envy to be a psychological bedrock while Klein saw it as an expression of death instinct.

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Full Course Information

Regardless of the lens that we use to view Envy as an emotion, we observe in our clinical settings that patterns of envious response can present us with a number of challenges:

  • Non-recognition of envy towards self can show up as behaviours of denial in our clients – recurrent, self-defeating actions, negative relationship loops and a continual search for an external locus for events
  • Envy prompts deception, dampens cooperation and fosters schadenfreude when others fail; all adding up to maladaptive emotional states and negative affect in our clients
  • Envy can show up as both Machiavellian and psychopathic behaviours – including suppressed anger and angst directed at the therapist

A deeper understanding of the aetiology, representations and patterns of envious behaviour can not only inform our assessment of clinical presentations, but also be part of our tool repository for managing intense transference.

At this intellectually stimulating and therapeutically oriented seminar, Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn draws on practical learnings from psychodynamic, cognitive and object-relations domains – to help us delve deep into the complications that envy presents in our clinical settings and uses case-vignettes to specifically discuss:

  • The differences between admiration and envy – the stage at which envy can cross-over into malevolent manifestations
  • How discerning the patterns of envy can help us interpret and work therapeutically in novel ways
  • Comprehending the elements of envy – longing, feelings of inferiority, ill-will toward the envied person, resentment and guilt
  • How the experience of envy has changed in the age of social media
  • Getting to grips with the internal origins of envy and its destructive aims
  • Understand how envy can attack the therapeutic process and manage situations where the client’s envy is directed at the therapist
  • Working with clients who fail to recognise envious attacks by others, or their own envy

Jan will also schedule to discuss case examples that delegates may bring and share ideas with practitioners on how they can work effectively with these clinical challenges.

Overall, the aim of the webinar is to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying nature of envy with a view to guiding our therapeutic endeavours.

About the speaker

Dr Jan McGregor Hepburn has a background in Social Work Management and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and is a trainer for the North of England Association for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She was the Registrar of the British Psychoanalytic Council for 15 years and currently chairs the Professional Standards Committee. She is the author of several papers, most notably those published in the British Journal of Psychotherapy and European Psychotherapy Journal. She has presented papers at conferences and devised and facilitated both seminars and workshops on a variety of subjects to both management dynamics and clinical topics.

She is part of the ScopEd project which is the collaboration between BACP, UKCP and BPC to map the core competencies for clinical work. She is on the Reading Panel of the British Journal of Psychotherapy and has a doctorate from the University of Northumbria. Her latest book: Guilt and Shame, A Clinician’s Guide is out now with nscience publishing house.

© nscience 2021 / 22

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