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Survivors of psychological trauma are frequently troubled by intrusive recollection of the traumatic event. We describe research showing that attempts to suppress such trauma memories can be associated with paradoxically enhanced remembering of the trauma, enhanced access to other negative personal material, and a lack of specificity in the recollection of the personal past. This suggests that attempted suppression is generally a counterproductive approach to the regulation of traumatic memories in distressed trauma survivors. Working with trauma memories, rather than suppressing them, is more adaptive. Copyright © 2008 Association for Psychological Science.

Original publication




Journal article


Current Directions in Psychological Science

Publication Date





259 - 263