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Hence the verbs to cathect, decathect, and hypercathect, the last referring to the defensive manoeuvre (see DEFENCE) of investing in one process in order to facilitate REPRESSION of another.
This was consistent with Freud’s theory that the goal of grief work was to “decathect” from the dead, a notion that became passé in the 1990s when researchers discovered that people continue to think about and even carry on conversations in their heads or out loud with their deceased loved ones in a way that isn’t necessarily delusional.