Book Definition: An unconscious process that excludes unacceptable thoughts and feelings from awareness and memory


In Your Own Words


  • The blocking out of certain unwanted or unpleasant memories.
  • Unconsciously avoiding undesirable thoughts, feelings, and/or memories.
  • A way of coping with traumatic events by essentially blocking them out.


Examples/Functions


  • If you witnessed a murder in your childhood of a close friend or family member then you would repress it so you don't have to relive that moment.
  • Being sexually assaulted when you were younger and repressing the feelings so you don't remember it when your older.
  • When John was little his cat was run over by a dump truck. John doesn't remember but tells his mom he never wants to be a trash man.
  • A child who is abused by a parent later has no recollection of the events, but has trouble forming relationships.
  • Getting into a serious car accident when you are young, not remembering it but having a phobia of cars all through your life.

Additional Resources


  1. http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/repression.htm