The Struggle Of Staying With Toxic Emotions

Conference, Audio, Video or Powerpoint Presentation

Title: The Struggle of Staying with Toxic Emotions… When All you Want to do is Leave. An exploration of the potential idea of mindfulness in fostering negative capability
Year: 2015
Authors: Lotte Svalgaard

Much has been debated about the importance of negative capability for managers as well as employees in meeting with organisational turbulence and demands. Negative capability is defined as the ability to stay with disturbing and toxic emotions, tolerate anxiety, fear, not-knowing and uncertainty. This is a critical - though not an easy achievable - capability. Whereas there is much agreement on the importance of this capability, less is known on how to foster negative capability; In this paper I argue that the fostering of negative capability has been underexposed in psychodynamic theory as well as practice.
With the aim of adding to theoretical offerings, this paper introduces potential additional key notions from mindfulness (attention, awareness, detachment, compassion and self-compassion), as possible entry points to and enablers of negative capability. It is suggested that such key notions may facilitate ‘embracing of’ and ‘staying with’ what is perceived as disturbing or toxic. It is argued that - in fostering negative capability - an increased awareness on balancing ‘embracing’ and ‘exploring’, toxins and de-toxins, well-functioning and dys-functioning, may be needed. An exemplary case from a research project is introduced and drawn upon to illustrate this argument. Finally a link is made to felt issues of application within psychodynamics.

Keywords: Toxic emotions, negative capability, mindfulness, psychodynamics, compassion
Language: English

Date: 06/12/2015
Location: Rome, Italy
Name of Event/Conference: ISPSO 2015 Annual Symposium
Sponsoring Organization: ISPSO

Submitted by:
Ross Hazeldine
e-support (ISPSO)
Corresponding author: Lotte Svalgaard

Literature Download:

Paper not available online

By downloading the file you agree to comply with the Terms of Use / Guidelines of the ISPSO Library and the copyright/authority information for this Literature (above).

If there is no filename in a link below then a download has not been provided.
Members-only Downloads are via the members-only zone of the website.

External website Download

Local Download

No files attached to this page.

Members-only Download

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License