psycho social.docx - Defense Mechanisms Freud thought that...

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Defense Mechanisms Freud thought that defense mechanisms are what the ego uses to cope with anxiety and are often used unconsciously to distort reality Defense mechanisms can be categorized based on how primitive they are Primitive defense mechanisms o Can be very effective short-term, but less effective over the long run o Often used by children o Examples denial regression acting out dissociation compartmentalization projection reaction formation Less primitive, more mature defense mechanisms o repression o displacement o intellectualization o rationalization o undoing Mature defense mechanisms are more focused on helping a person cope and be at peace with themselves and those around them
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o sublimation o compensation o assertiveness Common Defense Mechanisms Description Example Common Defense Mechanisms Compensation Description Extra effort in one area to offset real or imagined lack in another area; it helps reinforce a person's self-esteem and self-image Example A short man becomes assertively verbal and excels in business In order to compensate for her lack of cooking skills will say, "I may not know how to cook, but I can sure do the dishes!" Common Defense Mechanisms Conversion Description A mental conflict is expressed through physical symptoms Example A woman becomes blind after seeing her husband with another woman Common Defense Mechanisms Denial Description Treating obvious reality factors as though they do not exist because they are consciously intolerable Example A mother refuses to believe her child has been diagnosed with leukemia, and states, "she just has the flu" A functioning alcoholic denies s/he has a drinking problem, pointing out how well s/he functions in her/his job and relationships Common Defense Mechanisms Displacement Description Transferring unacceptable feelings aroused by one object to another, more acceptable substitute Example An adolescent lashes out at parents after not being invited to party A person who gets angry at his boss, but can't express his anger for fear of being fired will come home and kick the dog or start an argument with someone else Common Defense Mechanisms Dissociation Description Walling off specific areas of the personality from consciousness Example An adolescent talks about failing grades as if they belong to someone else and jokes about it People who have a history of any kind of childhood abuse often suffer from some form of dissociation Common Defense Mechanisms Description A conscious distortion of Example A student nurse fails the critical care
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Common Defense Mechanisms Description Example Fantasy unconscious wishes and need to obtain satisfaction exam and daydreams about her heroic role in a cardiac arrest Common Defense Mechanisms Fixation Description Becoming stagnated in a level of emotional development in which one is comfortable Example A sixty year old man who dresses and acts as if he were still in the 1960's Common Defense Mechanisms
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Christopher Reinemann
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