volume 137, issue 4, P456-459 1980
DOI: 10.1176/ajp.137.4.456
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Abstract: In their daily work psychotherapists rely on theoretical underpinnings derived from psychoanalysis. Many have come to rely on exaggerations of the notion of abreaction or catharsis, the so-called "expressing of feelings." This notion, implicit in psychoanalytic metapsychology, consists of a substantive, thing-like conception of emotion. Patients are seen as victims of demonic emotions that overwhelm them and compel them to act in various ways and "cause" them to suffer painfully. The author believes that a tru…

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