Share this entry

Share this page

abreaction

Syllabification: ab·re·ac·tion
Pronunciation: /ˌabrēˈakSHən
 
/

Definition of abreaction in English:

noun

Psychology
The expression and consequent release of a previously repressed emotion, achieved through reliving the experience that caused it (typically through hypnosis or suggestion).
Example sentences
  • Like Karon's patient, they were often treated with hypnotic abreaction in which the patient was expected to re-live the moment of trauma with unrestrained emotions.
  • The abreaction experienced by this patient as well as her comments after termination of the session suggest that unblocking her emotional response, rather than her gut, was the main factor in her recovery.
  • Age regression was used to explore the perceived cause of symptoms, and abreaction of the associated emotions was encouraged.

Origin

early 20th century: from ab- 'away from' + reaction, translating German Abreagierung.

Derivatives

abreactive

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • During the Vietnam war, conversion disorders were seldom encountered as repressed memories, and abreactive treatments became a quaint historical artifact.
  • Whenever there was no spontaneous response, the abreactive effect was induced by verbal stimulation.
  • From my own experience, I can confirm that possession is certainly both abreactive and cathartic.

Definition of abreaction in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day peart
Pronunciation: pərt
adjective
lively; cheerful