Elements of Reparation: Truth, Faith, and Transformation in the Works of Heidegger, Bion, and Beyond

Author(s) : Brent Potter

Elements of Reparation: Truth, Faith, and Transformation in the Works of Heidegger, Bion, and Beyond

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : May 2015
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 202
  • Category :
  • Category 2 :
    Culture and Psychoanalysis
  • Catalogue No : 35450
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782201526
  • ISBN 10 : 1782201521

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Damage and reparation are central themes of human existence. Melanie Klein, among other pivotal discoveries, noted our capacity for destructiveness towards others and ourselves. More importantly, she accented the centrality of reparation for mental health. Acceptance of the truth, ‘inner’ and ‘outer’, is essential to this process.

The author goes on to explain the phenomenon of reparation around the themes of truth (aletheia), faith (pistis) and repentance/transformation (metanoia), especially as they appear in the philosophical works of Martin Heidegger and the psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion.

He then continues following the phenomenon of metanoia, tracing it sequentially in the works of Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, Martin Heidegger, C.G. Jung and R.D. Laing. These thinkers have a surprisingly high degree of reflection upon and import into common, everyday lived experience.

Brent Potter’s work concludes with a critique of psychiatry, cognitive-behavioral and manualised approaches to psychological distress. He then presents modalities and programs, utilizing a metanoia perspective, that are rising to replace them.

The purpose of this book is to reach back, to seek the meaning and ground of the phenomenon of reparation and to understand the elements uncovered in the light of our present-day ways of knowing and being in the world.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Whenever ancient Greek thought weaves with psychoanalysis, the impact on the imagination can be fertile. Brent Potter’s wonderful journey into this labyrinth produces fresh ideas and new commitments. I found this work exciting, enriching and instructive.’
— Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul

‘Searching, penetrating, searing, enriching – this is a book filled with rich discussions exploring our need to damage ourselves and others and our need to repair, transcend, heal, and grow. Brent Potter touches the pulse of our existence, delineates what we are up against, and portrays a creative spirit working on the edge of the possible.’
— Michael Eigen, PhD, author of Contact with the Depths, The Birth of Experience, and Faith

Elements of Reparation is a rigorous, cogent and penetrating exploration of a fundamental dynamic in human life: damage and transformation. Brent Potter deftly traverses many highways and byways from ancient Greek thought and mythology through psychoanalysis to humanistic psychology, showing us how awareness is lost and regained.’
— Gabor Maté, MD, author of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

‘Brent Potter is one of the few psychologists who understands that the relationship between ancient Greek wisdom and modern empiricism is harmonious, provided one has sufficient sensitivity to understand the human condition without being blinded by the distracting flashes of come-and-go data and Big Pharma taxonomy.’
— Adrian Laing, author of R.D. Laing: A Life and Rehab Blues: A Novel

‘Brent Potter’s new book is a powerful calling. The concept of “reparation” is lucidly elaborated over an impressively broad range of fields: statistical and epidemiological data, contemporary psychiatry and psychology, therapy and philosophy - all of them linked together in genuine, exciting and illuminating ways. The book is a milestone on the path emerging out of the ever-sharpening crisis in mainstream psychiatry and psychology.’
— Konstantin Gemenetzis, MD, existential psychoanalyst, former President of the International Federation of Daseinsanalysis

In Elements of Reparation, Brent Potter covers a huge psychological landscape, from Greek mythology, Freud and Jung, to Heidegger and Bion. He skillfully leads readers through the labyrinth of complex theoretical concepts and ambiguous psychological terms, to shed light on the ageless themes of truth, faith, and transformation. More importantly, he convincingly shows us that these existential phenomenological processes can heal a psyche traumatized by both the inherent condition of life and the contemporary technological culture. For all those who are struggling with suffering and trauma and disappointed in current mental health care, this book offers a very hopeful alternative of healing through openness to and acceptance of life in all its mystery. I highly recommend this book to all mental health professionals.’
— Paul T. P. Wong, PhD, Psych. Adjunct Professor, Saybrook University, California

About the Author(s)

Brent Potter, PhD, is a psychotherapist, child mental health specialist, and ethnic minority mental health specialist (WA). Potter earned his master’s degree in existential-phenomenological psychology from Duquesne University. He holds a doctorate in clinical psychology with an emphasis in depth psychology from the Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has more than twenty years of experience providing clinical services in a range of settings including inpatient, hospital, outpatient, and private practice. He has published numerous articles, Elements of Self-Destruction, and has three forthcoming books.

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