Psych defense mechanisms

Psych defense mechanisms

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  • Displacement
  • Why are you so strict all the time? I hate you!
  • Sublimation
  • Going into surgery is my favorite part of the job!
  • How can you stand operating for so many hours?
  • Denial
  • There’s no way I did poorly on the test, I studied for two days!
  • Shifting sexual or aggressive impulses toward a more acceptable or less threatening object or person. An example would be picking a fight with her mom when she got a bad grade on an assignment and she’s angry at the teacher
  • Rationalization
  • Well, I didn’t even study that hard in the first place so it’s ok that I failed.
  • Transferring of unacceptable impulses into socially valued motives. An example would be if she has has an urge to cut skin she would become a surgeon
  • Projection
  • But everyone else is lazy!
  • You’re the only student in our grade who is lazy, everyone else works hard. 
  • You can’t keep being lazy, if you do I’ll have to expel you!
  • Reaction Formation
  • Refusing to believe or even perceive painful realities. In this case, the girl is unable to accept that she did poorly on a test she studied a lot for and thus thought she did really well.
  • I’m sorry, but I am unable to offer you a job as chief of surgery 
  • Offering self-justifying explanations in place of the real, more threatening unconscious reasons for one’s actions. After accepting the fact that she failed the test, she then convinced herself she didn’t try that hard in the first place.
  • Disguising one’s own threatening impulses by attributing them to others. She then becomes the laziest student and rarely does her work. However, she defends her behavior by saying that she’s not lazy but everyone else is.
  • Switching unacceptable impulses into their opposites. After she doesn’t get a job she justifies her rejection by sharing that she didn’t want the horrible job anyways
  • I didn’t want to work here at this horrible job anyways!
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