ABSTRACT

This chapter discusses applications of the term loving kindness to the work of other caring professions. Its relevance to a variety of human responses to fear and distress, including the nature and impact of denial as a psychological mechanism, is illustrated with reference to the context of palliative care medicine and some of the realities which emerged during the Covid pandemic. The dilemma of denial as a psychological defence is illustrated with reference to Albert Camus's novel The Plague. The challenges presented to professionals working with states of denial are discussed with reference to the work of Handa, Hopson, Kernberg and Saayman. The hazards of professional denial are discussed with reference to the work of Menzies and Revans. The possibility of reparation through loving kindness is discussed with reference to the theology of Paul Tillich and his concept of ‘the courage of despair’. The central importance of therapeutic listening is discussed, as identified by Akhtar, along with the concept of cynd or the kinship of nature and lineage identified by Campling and applied to clinical practice.