Field Notes

Repression and Suppression

March 07, 2017 - 0 Comments

Repression and suppression are such a norm in our culture that these experiences are rarely noticed, let alone questioned. Each person has an internalized suppressor and a repressor. For example, consider your own history of schooling from the earliest days. I have memories sitting in school as a young child and being deathly afraid of the principal who, I know, had the power to punish me. At that time this included strapping. This possibility served to invoke such fear in me that it totally controlled my behavior. The overall effect was fear of anyone with power. I have worked with this issue over many years in myself. I have definitely become much more aware, and I am still working on this to separate reality from my own projections. When one’s experience is normatized (made normal) repeatedly, the memory layers become thick, solidified, consolidated, and become one’s identity. When this happens, there is no other known identity, except perhaps, only the faintest of memories of something that is trying to get free. In my own inner work and my work with those who come to see me, I get glimpses of this something, struggling to get free. The most important work I do as a therapist is to spot this entity, connect with it, and support it to emerge, develop, and grow.

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