The constructive repression approach to therapy with trauma survivors

Consciousness as a construct continues to have utility in society; legally, medically and interpersonally. Repression is an often-studied mechanism to explain how some things are kept out of consciousness. The Constructive Repression Approach emphasizes a measured examination of previously experienced traumatic stimuli, based on the clinician's judgement as to the ability of the client to tolerate the associated en10tional pain. The Constructive Repression Approach to psychotherapy integrates techniques and addresses psychopathology at the level of human functioning. This is in contrast with the many approaches that integrate at the level of theory, therapeutic technique or psychopathology. The following discussion will consider the roles of consciousness and repression in therapy and the four major theoretical orientations to doing therapy. It will propose a new approach called Constructive Repression followed by a pamphlet which discusses how clients would be viewed by therapists who utilize one of the major therapeutic orientations. This pamphlet will also aid clients in finding an appropriate therapist.