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Defense Mechanisms

defense mechanisms

Repression Woman is unable to enjoy sex after having pushed out of awareness a traumatic sexual incident from childhood. (maladaptive) Man forgets his wife’s b-day after a marital fight (Adaptive)
Sublimation Woman who is angry with her boss writes a short story about a heroic woman (Adaptive-no maladaptive for this one)
Regression Four year old boy with a new baby brother starts sucking his thumb and wanting a bottle(adaptive) Man who loses a promotion starts complaining to others, hands in a sloppy work, misses appointments, and comes in late for meetings (maladaptive)
Displacement Pt criticizes a nurse after his family fails to visit (adaptive) Child who is unable to acknowledge fear of his father becomes fearful of animals (maladaptive)
Projection Man who is unconsciously attracted to other women teases his wife about flirting (adaptive)Woman who has repressed an attraction toward other women refuses to socialize. She fears another woman will make homosexual advances toward her. (maladaptive)
Compensation Short man becomes assertively verbal and excels in business (adaptive) Individual drinks alcohol when self-esteem is low to diffuse discomfort temporarily (maladaptive)
Reaction formation (adaptive) Recovering alcoholic constantly preaches about the evils of drink (adaptive)
Reaction formation (maladaptive) Mother who has an unconscious hostility toward her daughter is overprotective and hovers over her to protect her from harm, interfering with her normal growth and developing (maladaptive)
Denial Man react to new of the death of a loved one by saying, “No I don’t believe you, the Dr. said he was fine.”(Adaptive) Woman whose husband dies 3yrs earlier still keeps his clothes in the closet and talks about him in the present tense (maladaptive)
Conversion Student is unable to take a final examination because of a terrible headache(adaptive) Man becomes blind after seeing his wife flirt with other men. (maladaptive)
Undoing After flirting with her male secretary, a woman brings her husband tickets to a show (adaptive) Man with rigid and moralistic beliefs and repressed sexuality is driven to wash his hands to gain composure when around attractive women (maladaptive)
Rationalization Employee says, “I didn’t get the raise beaus the boss doesn’t like me”(adaptive)Father who thinks his son was fathered by another man excuses his malicious treatment of the by saying “he is lazy and disobedient,” when that is not the case. (maladaptive)
Identification Five-year-old girl dresses in her mother’s shows and dress and meets her father at the door (adaptive) Young boy thinks a neighborhood pimp with money and drugs is someone to look up to (maladaptive)
Introjection (adaptive) After his wife’s death, husband has transient complaints of chest pains and difficulty breathing—the symptoms his wife had before she died (adaptive)
Introjection (maladaptive) Young child whose parents were overcritical and blittling grows up thinking that she is not any good. She has taken on her parent’s evaluation of her as part of her-self image (maladaptive)
Suppression (adaptive) Businessman who is preparing to make an important speech later in the day is told by his wife that she wants a divorce. Although visible upset, he puts the incident aside until after his speech, when he can give the matter his total concentration(adaptive
Supression (maladaptive) A woman who feels a lump in her breast shortly before leaving for a 3-week vacation puts the information in the back or her mind until after returning from her vacation (maladaptive
Created by: bmurphy51