In psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, the first full realization and expression of emotions surrounding significant occurrences in one’s past; emotional release.
Example: The abused patient had never allowed himself to admit the extent of his anger; he felt markedly better after a furious outburst during a therapy session one day.
Grinnell, R. (2008). Catharsis. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 1, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/2008/catharsis/