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 the three forms of dignity (metaphysical, existential, and characterological) and the various ways in which they affect psychoanalytic technique. This important book by a renowned author will appeal to all readers with an interest in psychoanalysis.
Salman Akhtar, MD, was born in India and completed his medical and psychiatric education there. Upon arriving in the USA in 1973, he repeated his psychiatric training at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, and then obtained psychoanalytic training from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute. Currently, he is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a training and supervising analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has authored, edited or co-edited more than 300 publications including books on psychiatry and psychoanalysis and several collections of poetry. He is also a Scholar-in-Residence at the Inter-Act Theatre Company in Philadelphia. Salman Akhtar received the Sigourney Award in 2012.