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catharsis




In psychoanalysis (where it is generally termed abreaction), the bringing into the open of a previously repressed memory or emotion, thus, hopefully, relieving unconscious emotional stress. In medicine, the term is used for the artificial induction of vomiting. Play, which can be viewed as working off atavistic impulses, is sometimes described as cathartic. The term comes from the Greek katharsis, purging.


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