“… the trauma is either a single, definite, violent impact, or a complex of ideas and emotions which may be likened to a psychic wound. Everything that touches this complex, however slightly, excites a vehement reaction, a regular emotional explosion. Hence one could easily represent the trauma as a complex with a high emotional charge, and because this enormously affective charge seems at first sight to be the pathological cause of the disturbance, one can accordingly postulate a therapy whose aim is the complete release of this charge. Such a view is both simple and logical, and it is in apparent agreement with the fact that abreaction – i.e., the dramatic rehearsal of the traumatic moment, it’s emotional recapitulation in the waking or in the hypnotic state – often has a therapeutic effect. We all know that a man has a compelling need to recount a vivid experience again and again until it has lost its affective value. As the proverb says, “What filleth the heart goeth out by the mouth.” The unbosoming gradually depotentiates the affectivity of the traumatic experience until it no longer has a disturbing influence.”

“… The essential factor is the dissociation of the psyche and not the existence of a highly charged affect and, consequently, that the main therapeutic problem is not abreaction but how to integrate the dissociation. . . .that a traumatic complex brings about dissociation of the psyche. The complex is not under the control of the will and for this reason it possesses the quality of psychic autonomy. . . .it pounces on him like an enemy or a wild animal. . . Abreaction then is an attempt to reintegrate the autonomous complex, to incorporate it gradually into the conscious mind as an accepted content, by living the traumatic situation over again, once or repeatedly.” (pp. 130-132, CW16)