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How to overcome the ‘green-eyed monster’

Professionals can help clients to acknowledge and deal with feelings of envy about their fellow service users

One of the most uncomfortable feelings I have is envy: the old ‘green-eyed monster’. What is more, I am sure I am not alone in having these feelings.

I have been thinking about envy because of difficulties I have encountered with it in my clients. This is partly because people are rarely keen to own up to feelings of envy, or are confused about it and its relationship to jealousy. The role of envy is a neglected line of enquiry in people with learning disabilities, despite the destructive nature of the emotion.

Recently, I referred a young man shortly after his mother had died. He went to the funeral, understood that his mother had died and his support staff told me that while he seemed to be ‘sad’ at times, he was ‘doing okay’. He had met all the markers of a normal grief reaction.

About nine


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