Exploration in The Greener Grass: Understanding Envy in Working with Couple Dynamics Tavistock Relationships


March 10, 2018 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
£118 (£108 if booked and paid for by 27 January 2018)   Tickets
020 7380 8288

Envy can be difficult to work with and, perhaps because of this, it can be easy to overlook in the consulting room. This study day will explore envy as an intrinsic component of intimate relationships – including the therapeutic one.

It has been 60 years since Melanie Klein’s Envy and Gratitude was published. Her concept of primary envy saw the roots of envy lying in the inevitably unequal relationship between mother and infant. Envy, with its links with the projective system, repetition, destructiveness and potential reparation, still remains at the heart of psychoanalytically- oriented work with couples and individuals.

An examination of envy and its workings will involve discussions around greed, oedipal dilemmas, humiliation, dependency, jealousy, gratitude and love.

This study day will include lectures, experiential work and clinical presentations. Participants are asked to bring cases and to be prepared to think about where envy is located in their clinical work with individuals, couples and families, and how it might be addressed.


Who is it for? Counsellors and therapists and students who wish to consider in depth the concept of envy and how it manifests itself and can be worked with both within intimate relationships and in the consulting room.


Suggested reading:

  • Klein, M. (1957) Envy and Gratitude. In: The Writings of Melanie Klein, Vol. 3: Envy and Gratitude and Other Works (pp. 176-235). London: Hogarth Press 1975.
  • Britton, R. (1989). Chapter Two: The Missing Link: Parental Sexuality in the Oedipus Complex. The Oedipus Complex Today Clinical Implications, 83-101
  • Kernberg, Otto. F, (1991). Aggression and Love in the Relationship of The Couple. Journal of American Psychoanalytic Association Vol: 39 issue: 1 Page (s): 45-70
  • ‘Envy and Gratitude Revisited’ (2008) Roth and Lemma eds. London: Karnac.


Martha Doniach MA, is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with individuals and couples. She is a full member of the Foundation for Psychotherapy and Counselling (FPC-WPF) and of the graduate body of Tavistock Relationships. She has worked for several years in East London NHS Foundation trust in tier 2, Specialist Psychotherapy adult outpatient service. In her current role as Principal Psychotherapist, she leads the honorary psychotherapy program, teaches, supervises and works clinically with adults, couples, families and runs analytic groups. At Tavistock Relationships she is a visiting clinician and trainer and also works as a tutor on the MA in psychodynamic counselling and psychotherapy. She maintains a private practice in central London. Before qualifying as a psychotherapist she was a social worker working with children and families, child protection and CAMHS. She is a registered with BPC and UKCP.

Kate Thompson, formerly an executive producer in the factual department at the BBC, Kate Thompson is now a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist, faculty staff member and clinical lecturer at the Tavistock Relationships. She works at Tavistock Relationships as Head of Strategic Development and has been the Project Lead for Couple Therapy for Depression Training of NHS practitioners within IAPT services nationally. She has also worked in Tavistock Relationships’ mentalization-based therapy service, Parents in Dispute, developed in association with the Department of Work and Pensions, the judiciary and Cafcass and also within Tavistock Relationships’ specialist adoption service. As part of her work, she has written a wide variety of articles and training materials on different aspects therapeutic work with couples. She is registered with BPC and BACP and her private practice is in East Sheen, South West London.