Reparation is integral to the depressive position. It is grounded in love and respect for the separate other, and involves facing loss and damage and making efforts to repair and restore one’s objects. Effective reparation involves a type and degree of guilt that is not so overwhelming as to induce despair, but can engender hope and concern. Reparation itself provides a way out of despair, by promoting virtuous cycles rather than vicious cycles in states of depression. It is a significant root in all creative activity and indeed a central part of development.

Reproduced from The New Dictionary of Kleinian Thought by Bott Spillius, E., Milton, J., Garvey, P., Couve, C. and Steiner, D. (Routledge, 2011)

See a list of key papers on reparation