Advanced Personality

Part of the series The Plenum Series in Social/Clinical Psychology pp 211-238

Cognitive-Experiential Self-Theory

  • Seymour EpsteinAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Massachusetts

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The book, Letters from Jenny, by Gordon All port (1965) presented a series of letters written over an extended period by a woman named Jenny to her son, Ross. Jenny was a poor, hard-working woman who sacrificed almost everything she had for Ross. She supported him in an affluent lifestyle at an Ivy League college, while she barely had enough to eat. All that mattered to her was his well-being. Yet, she failed miserably in bringing fulfillment and happiness to him as well as to herself. When Ross began to form relationships with other women, Jenny disowned him, very likely contributing to his early death. She then derived more happiness from his memory than she had from his presence.