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Feeling and Personhood Psychology in Another Key by John Heron

Feeling and Personhood Psychology in Another Key


Feeling and Personhood Psychology in Another Key by John Heron

John Heron presents a radical new theory of the person in which feeling, differentiated from emotion, becomes the distinctive feature of personhood. The book explores the applications of Heron's ideas to living and learning and includes numerous experiential exercises. Central to Heron's analysis are interrelationships between four basic psychological modes - affective, imaginal, conceptual and practical. In particular, feeling is seen as the ground and potential from which all other aspects of the psyche emerge - emotion, intuition, imaging of all kinds, reason, discrimination, intention and action. The author also shows the fundamental relation of his ideas to theory and practice in transpersonal psychology and philosophy, and examines the implications of his theory for understanding and enhancing both formal and life learning.


`A complex work, well designed and structured, and rooted in philosophy and psychology... Several of the chapters culminate in exercises, generally to be carried out with a partner. They underline the points Heron makes in his theoretical exposition in an enjoyable way and would form part of an exploration of different psychological approaches and theories... The wide range and ambition of the book, as well as its concepts, make it interesting. It is presented as a challenging alternative to traditional reason-centred and ego-bound psychology and as such will be welcomed for its different perspectives by those running courses' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling

`The book will find an avid following amongst those involved in humanistic approaches to psychology and co-counsellors who will value the hundred experiential exercises... the strength of the book lies in its detailed treatment of models of personhood. Heron carefully takes the reader through a series of complex intertwining metaphors, culminating in a mandala bringing together the various modes with their attendant polarities, worlds and forms of knowing. A review such as this cannot do justice to the extent to which Heron has successfully used diagrams to amplify the complex ideas within his text... there is much to commend this book. In addition to the carefully crafted theoretical statements, the activities will be a reservoir of ideas for the practitioner involved in work on the development of human potential' - British Journal of Psychology

`The book delivers a thoughtful and internally consistent model that attempts to integrate the traditional areas of emotion, imagery, cognition and behavior with the archetypal-transpersonal realms of experience... Heron offers exercises that give the reader an opportunity to experientially delve into many of the phenomena covered by Heron's model' - Contemporary Psychology

About the Author

John Heron founded the Human Potential Research Group at the University of Surrey, and later pioneered personal and professional development programs for doctors, as Assistant Director, British Postgraduate Medical Federation, University of London. He now runs the South Pacific Centre for Human Inquiry, New Zealand.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th June 1992


John Heron

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SAGE Publications Ltd


272 pages


The self, ego, identity, personality



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