Abreaction: A Path Through Grief

Abreaction is the bringing to the surface of unpleasant suppressed thoughts and feelings in such a way that their being felt, emotionally, out in the open, lessens their power or hold over a person, and sometimes can seem to extinguish them completely. Abreaction is like a reverse lightning-rod, for it can “ground” tempestuous psychic energies that exist inside a person, in order that such energies will lose their power on the outside.

A vivid example of abreaction occurs in the dramatic conclusion of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1964 psychological thriller Marnie.

I found Mockingbird though my news feed link to this article “Grief, Gethsemane Hospital: Our Interview with Ray Barfield“. (I will take a longer look at the interview with Ray Barfield in another post. There is much to deconstruct and understand.)

As I tooled around the site which identifies itself as…”a ministry that seeks to connect the Christian faith with the realities of everyday life in fresh and down-to-earth ways”. Not dissuaded I continued to poke around with great curiosity what secrets Mockingbird may hold for me. Or at least point to a topic. I was not disappointed. They have a glossary of words. Abreaction was there. They have rich trove of articles.

A ‘reverse lighting-rod’ is a great descriptor for my thoughts on loss, mourning, and grief. The exercise of examining the grief we experience when a loved one dies is far more effective than denial as a way to manage grief. Experiences integrated into our current compendium of understanding creates new knowledge and insights.

Inside Out: A Compendium of Loss and Grief captures all the relevant posts on this topic. In death there is wisdom and knowledge.