The new idea, based on my extensive experience as a psychotherapist, is my concept of therapeutic catharsis (TC), and that this experience is the most effective way to regain one’s basic humanness. The idea of catharsis has never been adequately understood. The basic idea behind TC is that there exists a natural healing process for psychological “injuries” just as there is one for physical injuries/illnesses. They both operate in the same way: safety from further injury/infection and sufficient support. In medicine, support is physiological in nature, while in psychotherapy it is provided by the acceptance the client receives for his/her experiencing. TC is only effective when it spontaneously emerges coincident with the client receiving this kind of support. When emotional experiencing arises in this unforced way it IS NOT re-traumatizing. This well-intended but seriously misunderstood term has scared the proverbial living daylights out of people in the field. The misunderstanding, starting with Freud to the present, is this: When emotional experiencing arises in this unforced way the person is an engaged participant in and an objective observer of her/his own experiencing at the same time.
For how I learned all this, search: Jessica: The autobiography of an infant.