The word catharsis is derived from the Greek word which is translated as ‘cleansing’ or ‘purification.’
Most of the definitions emphasize two essential components of catharsis: the emotional aspect (strong emotional expression and processing) and the cognitive aspect of catharsis (insight, new realization, and the unconscious becoming consciousness) and as a result – positive change.
Aristotle defined catharsis as ‘purging of the spirit of morbid and base ideas or emotions.’
– Powell, E. Catharsis in Psychology and Beyond: A Historic Overview. http://primal-page.com/cathar.htm