Defense mech

  1. Altruism
    • • Decreasing one’s own anxiety or fears about a problem(s) by helping or caring for others
    • • E.g., A man who has negative feelings about being abandoned by his parents as a child works in an orphanage
  2. Humor
  3. • Making light of one’s own situation in an effort to decrease anxiety
  4. Sublimation
    Replacing a socially unacceptable desire with an action that is similar, but socially acceptable
  5. Suppression
    Trying to forget something that causes you anxiety
  6. Repression
    • • An idea or feeling is eliminated from consciousness
    • • The content may have once been known but has now become inaccessible

    Differentiated from suppression as in suppression the individual is aware of situation but chooses not to focus on it
  7. Intellectulization
    • Avoid difficult emotions by focusing on the intellectual aspects
  8. Rationalization
  9. • Rational explanations are used to justify attitudes, beliefs, or behaviors that are unacceptable
    • • Giving a logical reason for a negative situation to convince ourselves that the situation is reasonable
    • • A search for reasons to allow an unacceptable action already selected
    • • Used to relive shame and guilt
  10. Denial
  11. • Refusing to acknowledge the reality (or some aspect of the reality) of a painful experience or situation
    • It is used to avoid becoming aware of a painful aspect of reality
  12. Displacement
  13. • Redirecting disturbing emotions about an object, idea, or event to a less threatening substitute.
    • Allows us to place our negative emotion about someone else onto another target
  14. Identification
    • Internalizing the characteristics of another person

    • E.g., A child who has been sexually abused grows to be an abuser (identification with abuser)
  15. Isolation of affect
  16. • Exhibit a lack of emotion associated with a stressful situation
    • E.g., A woman who witnesses a murder describes the incident with no emotion
  17. Projection
  18. • Attributing one’s own personally unacceptable feeling(s) onto another person
    • E.g., A man who has committed adultery becomes convinced that his wife has been having an affair even though there is no evidence of it.
  19. Reaction formation
  20. • Replacing a personally unacceptable emotion with an opposite attitude
    • • Excessive overreaction can be a sign of reaction formation
    • • Very common with teenagers
    • • E.g., A daughter who is angry with her mother for never being around when she was growing up visits her in hospital every week with fresh flowers
  21. Regression
  22. • Escaping back to an earlier developmental stage. “Acting childish” or younger than typical for that individual
    • Common in people who are tired, ill and uncomfortable
  23. Somatization
  24. • The transference of an emotional distress into a physical manifestation
    • • Extreme forms of somatization are diagnosed as somatoform disorders
    • • Hypochodriasis
  25. Splitting
    • Believing people or events are either all bad or all good. There is no middle ground.

    • Common in patients with a borderline personality disorder
  26. Undoing
  27. • Believing that one can magically reverse the past events caused by “incorrect” behavior by now adopting correct behavior
  28. Acting out
  29. • Emotional or behavioral outbursts without conscious awareness of the emotion that drives the behavior.
    • • Substance abuse, eating disorders, overeating, or getting into fights are common actions in adolescents that cover-up feeling of vulnerability
    • • Differentiated from displacement in that the emotion is covered up, not redirected
  30. Transference
  31. • Transference occurs in relationships in which someone transfers feelings about one person onto another – happens to physicians and patients
  32. Counter Transference
    refers to the physician’s emotional reactions to the patient and is an important factor to monitor as it can interfere with the doctor’s medical judgment
Card Set
Defense mech
Defense mechanisms