cathexis


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ca·thex·is

 (kə-thĕk′sĭs)
n. pl. ca·thex·es (-thĕk′sēz)
Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.

[Greek kathexis, holding, retention, from katekhein, to hold fast : kat-, kata-, intensive pref.; see cata- + ekhein, to hold; see segh- in Indo-European roots.]

cathexis

(kəˈθɛksɪs)
n, pl -thexes (-ˈθɛksiːz)
(Psychoanalysis) psychoanal concentration of psychic energy on a single goal
[C20: from New Latin, from Greek kathexis, from katekhein to hold fast, intended to render German Besetzung a taking possession of]

ca•thex•is

(kəˈθɛk sɪs)

n., pl. -thex•es (-ˈθɛk siz)
Psychoanal.
1. the investment of emotional significance in an activity, object, or idea.
2. the charge of psychic energy so invested.
[1920–25; < Greek káthexis retention, derivative (with -sis -sis) of katéchein to keep, hold on to =cat- cat- + échein to have, hold; translation of German Besetzung (Freud)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.cathexis - (psychoanalysis) the libidinal energy invested in some idea or person or object; "Freud thought of cathexis as a psychic analog of an electrical charge"
depth psychology, psychoanalysis, analysis - a set of techniques for exploring underlying motives and a method of treating various mental disorders; based on the theories of Sigmund Freud; "his physician recommended psychoanalysis"
libidinal energy - (psychoanalysis) psychic energy produced by the libido
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In the case of melancholia, the erotic grip'd cathexis is at all times connected to the dead, towards whom the survivor is ambivalent, just as the student fears that Lenore will return from the dead.
4) In this respect he was typical of his contemporaries, and can be linked to a set of critics and public intellectuals as diverse as Saul Bellow, Irving Howe, Leo Strauss, and Lionel Trilling, whom Jonathan Freedman has taken as sharing "a powerful cathexis to Western culture and civilization and a habit of negotiating the terms of their own Jewishness through that cathexis.
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Winnicott's basic position is that "in object-relating, the subject allows certain alterations of the self to take place, of a kind that has caused us to invent the term cathexis.
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