Scientific experiments conducted in the 1980s concluded that blocking out unwanted thoughts triggered rebound effects, making it harder to keep those thoughts at bay. The idea that suppressing those thoughts is harmful became conventional wisdom and influenced the practice of clinical psychology.

However, recent studies have been debunking this idea, finding that memory suppression is not only possible but adaptive, possibly protecting people who have suffered trauma from developing anxiety and depression. Read more about these studies and how they could begin informing therapeutic techniques for people with PTSD and other maladies.