- the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.
- Medicine/Medical. purgation.
- psychotherapy that encourages or permits the discharge of pent-up, socially unacceptable affects.
- discharge of pent-up emotions so as to result in the alleviation of symptoms or the permanent relief of the condition.
Origin of catharsis
Examples from the Web for catharsis
But I always feel that making the film is the catharsis that stops the nightmares, if you will.James Cameron on How to Find Flight MH370, Climate Change, Leonardo DiCaprio, and More
April 12, 2014
Encountering such exaggerations on the page serves as a kind of catharsis, and provides a kind of perspective.Lifetime’s ‘Flowers in the Attic’ Review: The Incest Is There, The Strange Magic Is Not
January 16, 2014
In fact, on Wednesday, one of the most popular term tags used was “catharsis.”The Cannibal Cop and the Dark, Secret World of Cannibal Porn
February 28, 2013
Thus, catharsis, in a physiological sense, has been difficult to substantiate, but the results are by no means conclusive.
This has some associations with the theory of catharsis, a view that is linked to purification and cleansing.
It does not touch the ‘catharsis’ of tragedy, which is another matter.The Comedies of William Congreve
Evacuations by venesection and catharsis, and then by the exhibition of opium.Zoonomia, Vol. II
There are certainly times when catharsis is necessary but "one thing is certain, the day for routine purgation is past."Outwitting Our Nerves
Josephine A. Jackson and Helen M. Salisbury
He however refers only to the catharsis upon the spectator, but not to that of the author's work upon himself.
He had no sympathy with the poetry that had a social message and he did not understand its effect as a catharsis.
- (in Aristotelian literary criticism) the purging or purification of the emotions through the evocation of pity and fear, as in tragedy
- psychoanal the bringing of repressed ideas or experiences into consciousness, thus relieving tensionsSee also abreaction
- purgation, esp of the bowels
Word Origin and History for catharsis
1803, "bodily purging," from Latinized form of Greek katharsis "purging, cleansing," from stem of kathairein "to purify, purge," from katharos "pure, clear of dirt, clean, spotless; open, free; clear of shame or guilt; purified" (with most of the extended senses now found in Modern English clear, clean, pure), of unknown origin. Originally medical in English; of emotions from 1872; psychotherapy sense first recorded 1909, in Brill's translation of Freud.
- A psychological technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness.
- The therapeutic result of this process; abreaction.