This article is written in two parts. Part 1 explains everything in kitchen table language (simple language). Part 2 provides the technical psychological/psychiatric explanation.
Part 1: Kitchen Table Explanation
Abreaction is remembering of what you previously, unconsciously (unknowingly) forgot. Abreaction is brought about by a hypnotist planting an idea in your mind through hypnosis (persuasion of a person with an unstable [unreliable] mind). You, then, take the mere idea and begin to believe it is a fact. Pseudo-abreaction is distorted (“false”) remembering of what you previously, unconsciously forgot. Pseudo-abreaction is also brought about by a hypnotist planting an idea in your mind through hypnosis (persuasion of a person with an unstable [unreliable] mind). You, also, then, take the mere idea and begin to believe it is a fact. For an in-depth discussion of abreaction and pseudo-abreaction see thousands of websites on the internet; for example, https://slideheaven.com/the-collapse-of-a-structure-a-structural-approach-to-trauma.html.
In the case of Christine Ford, in the light of the huge amount of evidence that contradicts her statements, there is no doubt that she has suffered a traumatic sexual experience and pseudo-abreaction (“distorted [false] remembering”) of that traumatic sexual experience. One dead giveaway of the pseudo-abreaction (“distorted [false] remembering”) experienced by Christine Ford is that it took multiple hypnotist sessions to establish her pseudo-abreacted delusion.
– Dr. Michael Bisconti
Part 2: Technical Psychological Explanation
Abreaction is the expression [speaking] and consequent release [ending] of a previously repressed [unconsciously forgotten] emotion [a feeling caused by a thought], achieved through reliving the experience that caused it (typically [in 99% of people] through hypnosis or suggestion [an idea planted in the mind of the patient]. [Note that the other 1% of people relive the experience through self-hypnosis.] Now, there is also pseudo-abreaction in which a person delusively expresses previously repressed emotion. For an in-depth discussion of abreaction and pseudo-abreaction see thousands of websites on the internet; for example, https://slideheaven.com/the-collapse-of-a-structure-a-structural-approach-to-trauma.html. Here is an excerpt from that page:
This analytic structural approach to trauma is obviously not confined to combat casualties, but to all victims of traumatic experience. In all these traumatized patients there is a tendency to report any threatening details [including details of unrelated things in one’s life that one finds threatening (Christine Ford finds Judge Kavanaugh threatening because he was nominated by President Trump)], and many therapists, led astray by the horrible content, tend to equate the terrible situation described with the origin of the collapse [tend to take the unrelated memory to be the cause of their forgetting]. This erroneous equation may lead to some form of “pseudo-abreaction,” where a horror story is stereotypically and repetitiously retold, without any real benefit for the patient. In this case, the repeated story is but a barren reflection of the encapsulated experience that is never really touched, namely, the experience of the end of the world and loss of self. …The patient is offered an opportunity for abreacting…. It is not always easy to assess the prognosis and outcomes of the posttraumatic process of encapsulation [the succinct (brief) expression or depiction of the essential features of something]. Clearly, in certain individuals this leads to an irreversible impoverishment and clinical deterioration. Others, while not being able to rid themselves of the encapsulated traumatic experience entirely, can still transform the inherent persisting pain into a source of creativity and inspiration.
– Dr. Michael Bisconti