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Defense Mechanism

TermDefinition
Repression Threatening or painful thoughts and feelings are excluded from our awareness. Forgetting a trauma. We forget dental appointment but not a romantic date we're looking forward to.
Denial Unconsciously refusing to accept the truth, so we close our eyes to existence of a threatening aspect of reality. Have many clues to cheating spouses, but denies that's happening.
Reaction formation Expressing the opposite impulse when confronted with threatening impulse. Mask feelings of hatred with kindness.
Projection Attributing to others, one’s own unacceptable desires and impulses. He seems very angry today, when really you’re the angry one.
Displacement Directing negative emotions towards another object or person rather than the person it is meant for. Kick the garbage can or the cat when you’re angry at someone but don’t feel comfortable expressing it to them.
Rationalization Manufacturing good reasons to explain away hurt. I didn't really want that job anyway. It would have been too stressful.
Sublimation Diverting sexual or aggressive energy into more socially acceptable channels. Crave cutting, become a surgeon.
Regression Going back to an earlier stage of development when there were fewer demands. Under severe stress becomes overly dependent crying, childlike behaviors. Child who gets new sibling suddenly is no longer toilet trained.
Introjection Taking in the values of others. After death of parents, take in the values and role of parent. In the most negative sense, prisoner takes in the values of the aggressor.
Identification Identifying with successful causes, or people in hope that you will be perceived as successful or worthwhile. It can also be adults who feel inferior about who they are so they identify with those who they think others admire.
Created by: Krazy380