1st Edition

Trauma, Guilt and Reparation
The Path from Impasse to Development

ISBN 9780367185411
Published October 7, 2019 by Routledge
168 Pages

USD $32.95

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Book Description

Trauma, Guilt and Reparation identifies the emotional barriers faced by people who have experienced severe trauma, as well as the emergence of reparative processes which pave the way from impasse to development.

The book explores the issue of trauma with particular reference to issues of reparation and guilt. Referencing the original work of Klein and others, it examines how feelings of persistent guilt work to foil attempts at reparation, locking trauma deep within the psyche. It provides a theoretical understanding of the interplay between feelings of neediness with those of fear, wrath, shame and guilt, and offers a route for patients to experience the mourning and forgiveness necessary to come to terms with their own trauma. The book includes a Foreword by John Steiner.

Illustrated by clinical examples throughout, it is written by an author whose empathy and experience make him an expert in the field. The book will be of great interest to psychotherapists, social workers and any professional working with traumatized individuals.

Table of Contents

Foreword by John Steiner


Chapter One: Trauma, guilt and reparation: A psychoanalytic paradigm

Chapter Two: Impediments to reparation: Resentment, shame and wrath – the significance of the gaze

Chapter Three: Repetition compulsion and the primitive super-ego: Attempts at reparation in borderline patients

Chapter Four: The 'Tower': Submission and illusory security in a traumatic defence organisation

Chapter Five: Trauma, reparation and the limits of reparation

Chapter Six: Traumatic remembering and ecliptic forgetting: on the riddle of time in Jenny Erpenbeck's The End of Days

Chapter Seven: Reparation and gratitude


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Heinz Weiss, M.D., is the Head of the Department of Psychosomatic Medicine at the Robert Bosch Hospital in Stuttgart. He is also the head of the Medical Division and member of the directorate of the Sigmund-Freud-Institute, Frankfurt/Main, and Chair of the Education Section of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis.


"Despite the fact that in recent decades the importance of trauma in the production of adult pathology has been rediscovered, there are few works that fall into the clinic to show in detail the specific link between suffering and original trauma. Weiss's book does it; he questions the quality of the trauma, from the emotional to the violent, and the question arises of how it is possible to repair the damage and what the relationship between the new object, the analyst, and the permanence of the internalized traumatic experience can be. This is an in-depth and well-documented study with rich and detailed clinical cases . In particular, the author studies the problem of reparation, mourning resentment, revenge, shame and finally of gratitude. A book that invites us to think about a complex but essential theoretical and clinical theme in psychoanalytic treatment." --Franco de Masi, Training and Supervising Analyst of the Italian Psychoanalytical Society and former President of Centro Milanese di Psicoanalisi and Secretary of the Training Milanese Institute

"Severely disturbed and traumatized patients present analysts and therapists with some of the most complex and difficult challenges in contemporary clinical practice. Agonizing guilt, long lasting grievance, hatred and rage complicate and threaten to derail the reparative and mourning processes needed for recovery. Based on the author’s extensive clinical experience, Trauma, Guilt and Reparation offers readers a thoughtful, richly illustrated, comprehensive approach to these problems and serves to help advance analytic understanding and practice." --Howard B. Levine, MD, Editor-in-Chief, The Routledge W.R. Bion Studies Series