For Self Empowering Women
Julie Morley MNCS,Ad.Dip CP, Hyp.dip.
Independent Psychotherapist, Hypnotherapist, Stress Consultant,
Supervisor and Tutor & Lecturer in Psychotherapy
Market Deeping & Deeping St James, Peterborough
EMAIL: [email protected]   MOBILE: 07761 065 726
Stress and anxiety
stress and Psychotherapy

Personal Psychotherapy & Stress Consultancy

 
TEXT: 07902 583 487

DEFENCE MECHANISMS

 

 

These are the types of reactions and responses people have to situations and other people which form a defence to negative feelings in them.  They can become ways of being and sometimes can be taken to the extreme.  You can spot them in yourself and in others. IE you might find that you go into ‘denial’ of something bad happening so as not to experience the bad feelings it could cause or ‘Intolerance of Ambiguity’ a simple refusal to experience anxiety about something. Some defences can be more harmful than others.

 

Asceticism                           

Isolating feelings by stopping repeated pleasurable activities like masturbation, eating or sex

 

Cathexis Libido                  

Attached externally eg. fighting instead of sex- a way of avoiding sex

 

Confusion                            

Unable to think about anxiety provoking thoughts

 

Denial                                   

External reality too extreme to bear IE illness, bereavement denying anything wrong with their anti social behaviour, total amnesia of traumatic events

 

Depersonalisation            

Like soldiers, enemies, prisons, nurses.  Avoid seeing others as another human being

 

Displacement                     

Expressing emotions towards others instead of at who they’re meant for IE Boss shouting at person

 

Fixation                                

Refusal to take next step is normal development for fear of next step or current stage not fully completed yet

 

Idealisation                         

An individual manages anxiety caused by having conflicting feelings caused by 1 person

 

Identification                       

Pretending to be like that person to prevent anxiety.  Being like a superhero or someone else that appears strong or together. This could also be identifying with ‘the aggressor’. Bully becomes bully, abused child becomes abuser

 

Intolerance of Ambiguity  Refusal to tolerate anxiety provoking situations

 

Isolation                               

Avoiding anything which may promote feelings or temptations of that which is taboo. Feelings are talked about in a matter of fact way

 

Phobic avoidance              

A phobia is invented (happens) so as not to face reality

 

Projection                           

Perceiving people as a threat, externalizing unacceptable traits or behaviours. Can make one paranoid.

 

Rationalisation                   

Saves disappointment provides reasonable excuses

 

Reaction Formation          

Hiding unacceptable traits by doing the opposite (cleaning when really wants to be dirty), Homophobic but hangs around with gay people

 

Regression                         

Some trauma has stalled Psychological development and so reverts to pre existing behaviour that is less anxiety provoking

 

Repression                         

Appears to be forgotten but actually causes anxiety.  Repression of childhood impulses is universal (say Freud). It can affect physical and emotional health as repressed content remains active in the unconsciousness.

 

Sublimination                    

A healthy form of cathesis.  A socially acceptable goal in place of repressed libido that can not or should not be discharged.  IE Football, the gym

 

Turning against self          

Sucks in aggressive view points from others so as to keep a positive view point of them

 

Undoing                               

Need to cleanse of guilt that bad feelings or thoughts have caused, doing something nice after an argument, Obsessive or compulsive rituals are good for this.