Neville Symington, MD, 2013

Mr. Symington’s work features independent thinking that offers a counterpoint to various schools of established thought regarding narcissism and the source of mental illness. He made a practice of thinking his own thoughts and has positioned himself as something of a maverick within the field. He has taken unpopular positions and argued them with skill and tact. A renaissance man and a true scholar, Mr. Symington is well-informed on many subjects and a superb clinician. Though influenced by the Kleinians and Bion, he approaches all writers with his own form of critical thinking. Freedom of thought is a central feature of Mr. Syminton’s views; a concept that many would view as the ultimate goal of psychoanalysis. In his writing, he has explicated Bion’s notion of freedom as emanating from a stratum that is far deeper than the realm of conscious choice. We may, in fact, be prisoners to that deeper stratum. Mr. Syminton’s response is that “When someone cannot think his own thoughts, he is not free.” A prolific writer, Mr. Symington has authored 14 books on wide ranging subjects, including narcissism, psychoanalysis and religion, madness, and becoming a person through psychoanalysis. His titles include: The Analytic Experience, Emotion and Spirit , Narcissism: A New Theory, The Making of a Psychotherapist, The Spirit of Sanity, A Pattern of Madness, How to Choose a Psychotherapist, The Blind Man Sees, A Healing Conversation, Becoming a Person through Psycho-Analysis and The Psychology of the Person. He is a joint-author with Joan Symington, The Clinical Thinking of Wilfred Bion, published a novel, A Priest’s Affair, and also a book of poetry IN-GRATITUDE and other POEMS.