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Defense Mechanisms

TermDefinition
compensation attempt to overcome feelings of inferiority or make up for deficiency
conversion channeling of unbearable anxieties into body signs and symptoms
denial refusal to acknowledge conflict and thus escapes reality
displacement redirecting of energies to another person or object
dissociation separation of emotions from situation; removal of painful anxieties from conscious awareness
fantasy distortion of unacceptable wishes, behaviors
identification taking on of personal characteristics of admired person to conceal own feelings of inadequacy
intellectualization focusing of attention on technical or logical aspects of threatening situation
isolation separation of anxious feelings from content to cope unemotionally with topics that would normally be overwhelming
projection putting of one's own unacceptable thoughts, wishes, emotions onto others
rationalization use of a "good" (but not real) reason to explain behavior to make unacceptable motivation more acceptable
reaction formation development of conscious attitudes and behavior patterns that are opposite to what one really would like to have
regression coping with present conflict, stress by returning to earlier, more secure stage of life
restitution giving back to resolve guilt feelings
sublimation unconscious channeling of unacceptable behaviors into constructive, more socially approved areas
substitution suppressing anxiety by replacing inappropriate behavior with one that is more acceptable
suppression removal of conflict by removing anxiety from consciousness
symbolization use of an unrelated object to represent hidden idea
undoing inappropriate behavior that is followed by acts to take away or reverse action and decrease guilt and anxiety
Created by: dlbrown85