On Repression and Mental Health

I am honored that my doctoral research on repression, denial, and mental health has been cited by the UC Berkeley Law School and is being used as part of their curriculum. Combining law and mental health is definitely a new concept. The UC Berkeley Center for the Study of Law and Society supports empirical research and theoretical analysis concerning legal institutions and processes, the impact of law on society, and social, political, historical, psychological, and intellectual influences on law and legal activity. They provide a truly interdisciplinary approach.

In a previous book chapter, I suggested that repression, denial, and minimization can be universal coping methods and discussed that the emphasis on the importance of self expression is a Western European construct. (See George A. Bonanno and Hoorie I. Siddique, Emotional Dissociation, Self-Deception, and Psychotherapy: At Play in the Fields of Consciousness).

Recent research has indicated that people considered to be “in denial” or repressing by traditional mental health standards are often doing just fine, as assessed by resiliency and adjustment measures.  Most importantly, the study of consciousness, combined with neuroscience has vast implications for every discipline and certainly for law.

Related citation: Repression and denial in criminal lawyering. 

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