There is a ubiquitous and seldom critically examined belief that discharge of affect has therapeutic value. Its history and a review of pertinent experimental literature are presented. Questionable generalizations and methodologic problems involving the internal state, the method, and recipient of the affect discharge, and associated phenomena are discussed. A recognition of these complexities is needed for adequate investigation and more precise application of this concept.
Marshall JR. The Expression of Feelings. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1972;27(6):786-790. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1972.01750300052008