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1. To show strong emotion while reliving a traumatic experience.
2. To discharge or release repressed emotion.


tr.v. abre·acted, abre·acting, abre·acts
To release (repressed emotions) by acting out, as in words, behavior, or the imagination, the situation causing the conflict.

ab′re·ac′tion n.


the expression of repressed feelings by revisiting the situation in a way that relieves anxiety. See abreaction.


(ab?re-ak'shon) [ ab- + reaction]
In psychoanalysis, the release of emotion by consciously recalling or acting out a painful experience that had been forgotten or repressed. The painful or consciously intolerable experience may become bearable as a result of the insight gained during this process.
See: catharsis (2) abreact (-akt')
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References in periodicals archive ?
Because these ruins are the product of a writing of melancholy--the failure to abreact loss through the work of mourning--they have the dialectical force to shake our beliefs in the ontological certainty and stability of late-capitalist reality.
The impulse behind ordinary narrative, Brooks says, derives from the same urge to abreact stimulus that Freud describes in Beyond the Pleasure Principle, a reluctant call to life that produces an insistent, "arabesque squiggle" toward the end.
Grade 5 hypnotizability) and their ability to abreact fantasy that they cannot distinguish from reality.