ABSTRACT

The term loving kindness is defined in a generic sense, acknowledging the complexity of its semantic origins and the variety of possible interpretations of this term. The cultural heritage of loving kindness, within world belief systems and literature, is discussed and the fact that its literary usage arose in parallel with rapid technological, social and cultural changes, coinciding with the development of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. A definition of psychotherapy is given and how this may be applied in practice. The basic premise of the book proposes that feelings are of central importance to an understanding of human motivation and experience. They provide the foundation for psychotherapeutic engagement and the development of empathy and trust, through the building of a therapeutic relationship. The contents of the book are briefly outlined, to include psychotherapy theory, research and clinical themes, five case studies from the author's practice, illustrations from literature and biography, ideas from philosophy and a chapter with relevance to the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020/2021 and palliative care.