In another post ( I addressed the widespread myth of emotional suppression or repression and explained how this construct misunderstood and misrepresented the healing process and health dynamics. At the core of all this appears to be a confusion about how our bodies interpret emotional information.


Dr. Gabor Maté, a Canadian physician specializing in the study and treatment of addiction, presents numerous case studies of early childhood experiences, eliciting strong emotions in the young person, storing and forming the basis for interpretations of future events. Science explains this process through the actions of the hippocampus, as we’ll discuss in a later post. The question is not whether emotions affect the body, but what we make of this information therapeutically.


Emotional suppression is purely theoretical. As practitioners, we are either trying to help people process by providing them with methods they can use to address “conscious issues” or we are focused on methods that liberate unconsciously held beliefs that have created their own patterns. Either way, the body responds to our thoughts and emotions. (Several therapeutic approaches such as the Emotional Freedom Technique, Psych-K, and hypnotherapy to name a few also deal with “unconscious” patterns of belief as a way to address our emotions.)


With all this said, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of emotions being suppressed. Alas, as doctors, we’re all too prone it seems to playing that role. My next post picks up that thread.