Defense Mechs

sweetiesc1's version from 2012-06-15 02:10


Question Answer
Acting Out - ImmUnacceptable feelings and thoughts are expressed through actions (Ex: Tantrums)
Dissociation - Imm --> Note: Extreme forms can result in dissociative identity disorder (multiple personality disorder)Temporary, drastic change in personality, consciousness, or motor behavior to avoid emotional stress.
Denial - ImmAvoidance of awareness of some painful reality. (Ex: A common reaction in some newly diagnosed AIDS and Cancer patients)
Displacement - ImmProcess whereby avoided feelings are transferred to some neutral person or object. (vs. projection) (Ex: Mothers places blame on child bc she is mad at her husband)
Fixation - ImmPartially remaining at a more childish level of development (vs. regression) - (Ex: Men fixating on sports games)
Identification - ImmModeling behavior after another person who is more powerful (though not necessarily admired) - (Ex: Abuse child identifies himself/herself as an abuser)
Isolation of affect - MatureSeparation of feelings from ideas and events (Ex: War veterans describing murder in graphic details with no emotional response)
Intellectualization - ImmSuppressing ones feelings by thinking about the problem. (Ex: Surgeon avoids feeling of failure after a patient dies by thinking about every step of the surgery in meticulous detail)
Projection - ImmAn unacceptable internal impulse is attributed to an external source (Ex: Man wants other women so thinks his wife is cheating on him)
Rationalization - ImmProclaiming logical reasons for actions actually performed for other reasons, usually to avoid self blame (Ex: After getting fired, claiming that the job was not important anyway)
Reaction Formation - ImmProcess whereby a warded off idea or feeling is replaced by an (unconsciously derived) emphasis on its opposite. (Ex: Patient with libidinous thoughts enters monastery)
Regression - ImmTurning back the maturational clock and going back to earlier modes of dealing with the world (Ex: children under stress begin bed wetting, adults on dialysis crying)
Repression - ImmInvoluntary withholding of an idea or feeling from conscious awareness (Ex: Not remembering a traumatic experience, pressing bad thoughts into the unconscious)
Splitting - ImmBelief that people are either all good or all bad at different times due to intolerance of ambiguity. Seen in borderline personality disorder. (Ex: Patient says that all the nurses are cold and insensitive and that the doctors are warm and friendly)
Altruism - MatGuilty feelings alleviated by unsolicited generosity toward others (Ex: Mafia boss makes large donations to charity)
Humor - MatAppreciating the amusing nature of an anxiety-provoking or adverse situation (Ex: Nervous medical student jokes about the boards)
Sublimation - MatProcess whereby one replaces an unacceptable wish with a course of action that is similar to the wish but does not conflict with ones value system. (Ex: Actress uses experience of abuse to enhance her acting)
Suppression - MatureVoluntary withholding of an idea or feeling from conscious awareness (vs. repression) - (Ex: Choosing not to think about the USMLE until the week of the exam)
Passive-Aggressive BehaviorExpressing aggression towards another person by passively refusing to meet their needs. Allows person to act out hostile feelings in a non-confrontational manner. (Ex: Patient missing appointments after his Physician puts him on stricter dietary controls)
UndoingSymbolically nullifying an unacceptable or guilt provoking thought, idea or feeling by confession or atonement.
TransferenceIndividual unconsciously projects feelings about one person onto another (Ex: Psychiatrist = Parent). Often arise from childhood parent-child relationships and often because the person reminds them of the former. Contrast with Displacement where you are just shifting but their is no reminder or trigger. This can be a positive or a negative emotion.
CountertransferenceDoctor projects feelings about someone onto his/her patient.
S.A.S.H. I. -Mature Def Mechs - Sublimation, Altruism, Suppression, Humor, Isolation

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