In their daily work psychotherapists rely on theoretical underpinnings
derived from psychoanalysis. Many have come to rely on exaggerations of the
notion of abreaction or catharsis, the so-called "expressing of feelings."
This notion, implicit in psychoanalytic metapsychology, consists of a
substantive, thing-like conception of emotion. Patients are seen as victims
of demonic emotions that overwhelm them and compel them to act in various
ways and "cause" them to suffer painfully. The author believes that a truly
psychoanalytic and psychological perspective views patients as the creators
of their emotional behaviors.