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SuppressedorRepressedEmotions?

RichardHarvey
RichardHarvey Psycho-Spiritual Psychotherapist, Author, Spiritual Teacher
6mo Granada, Spain Story
Suppressed or Repressed Emotions?

We have used the word suppressed in the title of this article. But what is the difference between suppression and repression?

When we suppress we keep a thought, an impulse, or an emotion in and do not allow ourselves to feel, show, or be affected by it. Suppression has a secretive quality, even from oneself, since in our effort to keep it down the suppressed material may be excluded from consciousness.

So, at the core of suppression is to hold back and hold down in order to stop it. Suppression has an innerness to it; it is an essentially inner process.

Repression is more active, more outer. It is to do with control and the force that leads to suppression. Some pressure is exerted to subdue and hold in; inhibiting the memory of an unpleasant event, for example, and prevent the natural expression of feelings associated with it – even rejecting those feelings from consciousness.

So, at the core of repression is the use of self-control to hold in… and ultimately bring about suppression. In contrast to suppression, repression has an outward orientation and it is essentially an outer to inner process.

There is a third word that is associated with repression and suppression; it is oppression. It means to treat cruelly or unfairly, to abuse power, to burden psychologically or spiritually through inflicting chronic sadness or worry.

Perhaps this sentence using all three terms serves to clarify:

“I was oppressed in my family, so I repressed my early feelings and lived with suppressed emotions.”

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [email protected]


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RichardHarvey
Psycho-Spiritual Psychotherapist, Author, Spiritual Teacher

Richard Harvey is a psycho-spiritual psychotherapist, spiritual teacher, and author. He is the founder of The Center for Human Awakening and has developed a form of depth-psychotherapy called Sacred Attention Therapy (SAT) that proposes a 3-stage model of human awakening. Richard can be reached at [...]

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