Freud's defense mechanisms

Freud's defense mechanisms

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  • Denial
  • I can't believe this. This isn't happening to me!
  • Regression 
  • Reaction Formation
  • Yes, Susan. I would love to help you sort the clothes. Anything else you need?
  • Refusing to believe or even perceive painful realities. Morgan's three year old dog just died, and she refuses to believe he is dead since just yesterday he was running in the park.
  • Projection
  • I know I cheat all the time, but Britney over there has been staring at my paper for a long time. She is definitely cheating.
  • Retreating to a more infantile psychosexual stage, where some psychic energy remains fixated. Tom, the highschool student, reverts to the comfort of biting his nails while taking a math test.
  • Rationalization
  • Switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites. Amanda is mad at Susan, but she actually ends up being friendly towards her.
  • Displacement
  • Disguising one's own threatening impulses by attributing them to others. Peter cheats in all his tests, now he is assuming Britney does too.
  • Offering self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening unconscious reasons for one's actions. Maddie, a habitual drinker, says she will drink with her friends to fit in.
  • Shifting sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person. Fred kicks his cat after his dad sends him to his room.
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