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cathexis (kuh-THEK-sis) noun, plural cathexes (-THEK-seez)

Concentration of emotional energy on an object or idea.

[Greek kathexis, holding, retention, from katekhein, to hold fast : kat-, kata-, intensive prefix + ekhein, to hold.]

"I'd been to 20 N. Moore Street and watched the throngs of `mourners' making instant cathexis for the cameras, `identifying' with the young `victims' as avatars of Camelot cut down in their prime, a perfect couple who embodied our hopes and dreams, symbols of America's longing for nobility, etc." Guy Trebay, Eyes Wide Shut, The Village Voice, Aug 3, 1999.

This week's theme: words to drop into conversations with a therapist.

Those of you in the Buffalo, New York area can listen to yours truly on NPR's affiliate station WBFO 88.7 FM program Spoken Arts. It will be broadcast on Thursday, July 13, at 5:35, 7:35 and 9:35AM EDT on Morning Edition. -Anu


A man builds a fine house; and now he has a master, and a task for life; he is to furnish, watch, show it, and keep it in repair, the rest of his days. -Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) [Society and Solitude, 1870]

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