Therapy Toronto Psychotherapy Definitions

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Catharsis
The purging or clearing removal of negative emotional experience, first formulated by Aristotle and reflective of Greek medical theory.

Freud and his early colleagues thought a catharsis would mark the culmination of a successful psychotherapy.


This concept is not now as widely supported by therapists. Recent views emphasize that psychic health is the outcome of a period of gradual change rather than an instantaneous transformative event. Popular movies do not reflect this reality.

Moments of catharsis, as shown in insight and emotional responses, are less significant than the subtle changes of longer-term work.

See also abreaction.
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