Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Peebles, M. J. 2010. Abreaction. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
In mental health, abreaction has come to mean an intense emotional release or discharge in an involuntary, vivid, sensory reliving or re-experiencing, of an event that was originally neurobiologically overwhelming (i.e., “traumatic”) and thus could not be remembered (or forgotten) in normal ways. Abreaction has its origins in psychoanalytic theory, but because it taps essential principles of emotional functioning, memory, and mind-body interaction, aspects of it are blended into diverse modalities across theoretical orientations. Originally, abreaction was viewed as curative in itself, believed to be healing through the discharging of excessive, dysregulating emotions thought to be the cause of dysfunctional symptoms.
- posttraumatic stress disorder;