978-0-595-15237-7 / 9780595152377

Catharsis in Healing, Ritual, and Drama





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About the book:

In this thoughtful study, Thomas Scheff defines catharsis clearly as a process that is signaled by certain kinds of laughing, crying, and analogous responses reflecting anger and fear. The main concept which provides a thread throughout the entire book is that of distancing, the balance between being a participant and an observer in the thoughts and feelings that bring on catharsis. At optimal distance, the person has double vision, of being both participant and observer. This idea is applied to psychotherapy, ritual and drama.

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