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1. To show strong emotion while reliving a traumatic experience.
2. To discharge or release repressed emotion.
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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 American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


(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')
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners
References in periodicals archive ?
The above psychotherapeutic procedure, then, has a curative effect by "bring[ing] to an end the operative force of the idea which was not abreacted in the first instance, by allowing the strangulated affect to find a way out through speech" (Breuer & Freud, 1895/2001, p.
And while Sigmund Freud came to recognize in hysteria a malady of reminiscences, in the course of which psychosomatic disturbances enact memories that are residues and as such displaced representations of traumatic experiences that have not been sufficiently abreacted, his contemporary Pierre Janet spoke of hysteria as a maladie par representation.
Freud and Breuer claim that hysteria is a consequence of 'traumas that have not been sufficiently abreacted', either because it is impossible to react to them, as with the loss of a loved one, or because the patient, wishing to forget, intentionally represses and inhibits them.(41) Aracoeli is prevented from grieving the loss of her daughter by being kept under sedation from the moment she discovers her dead until after the funeral, when all traces of the baby's existence have been eliminated from the house.