Defense Mechanisms of Ego
Published on Saturday, November 19th, 2011 at 1:41 pm and is filed under General Psychology
Ego defense mechanisms: description
- Cleavage: Compartmentalisation of feelings about self and other, so that integration is not possible. When individual faces contradictions in behavior, thinking or feeling, he treats disagreement with mild denial or indifference. This defense prevents conflict arising from the incompatibility of the two polarized aspects of self and other.
- Project Identification: This phenomenon is both an intrapsychic defense mechanism and a type of interpersonal communication and involves the following behavior: interpersonal subtle pressure is put on someone else to tale characteristics of one aspect of Self or of an internal object which will be designed in that person. The person who is the target of projection will start to behave, to think and feel according to what was projected in it.
- Projection: To perceive and react to impulses and its derivates as if they were outside the Self. Projective identification differs in the point that target doesn’t change.
- Denial: Avoidance of issues awareness of external reality is hard to face through ignoring sensory information.
- Dissociation: Breakdown of a person’s sense of continuity in area of identity, memory, consciousness and perception as a way to maintain an illusion of mental control in front oh helplessness and loss of control. Although the cleavage which is similar to dissociation can imply impaired memory, in extreme cases, due to disconnection event.
- Idealization: Allocation of perfect or almost perfect qualities to other people, as a way to avoid anxiety or negative feelings such as contempt, envy, anger.
- Acting out: Achievement of a dream or an unconscious fantasy, on impulsive, as a way to avoid painful emotions.
- Somatization: Conversion of emotional pain or other feelings in physical symptoms and concentration of person’s attention upon somatic problems (rather than on the intrapsychic).
- Regression: Returning to an earlier phase of development or operation to avoid conflicts and tensions associated with the current level of development of that person.
- Schizoid fantasy: Retire in own inner world to avoid anxiety related to interpersonal situations.
High level neurotic defense
- Introiectia: The internalization of significant aspects of a person as a way to accept the loss of that person. It is also possible introiectia of a bad type relationship as a way to offer the illusion of control over the relationship. Introiectia has forms that are not intended to defend and which are part of normal development.
- Identification: The internalization of another person’s qualities, becoming like that person. While introiectia leads to an internalized representation as an “other” identification is experienced as the Self. Identification may have other functions than the defense, during normal development.
- Movement: Moving associated feelings with ideas or relationships of another idea or relationships that resemble to original.
- Intellectualization: The usage of excessive and abstract thinking to avoid unpleasant feelings.
- Isolation of conditions: Separation of ideas from associated emotional state to avoid an emotional turmoil.
- Rationalization: Justification of attitudes, beliefs or unacceptable behavior to make them tolerable for yourself.
- Sexuality: Assign a meaningful sexual relationships and behavior, to turn a negative experience into one exciting and stimulating or to remove anxieties associated with that relationship.
- React formation: Transforming a wish or an unacceptable impulse into its opposite.
- Repression: Exclusion of ideas or unacceptable impulse or preventing to move on the conscious area. Denial is different from repression through the last one is associated with external sensory data, while the discharge is associated with internal states.
- Retroactive cancellation: Trying to deny sexual implications, aggressive or shy of some comment or previous behavior, through elaboration, clarification or opposite action.
- Humor: Finding some comic or ironic elements in difficult situations to reduce the unpleasant affects and personal discomfort. This mechanism also allows take a distance and objectivity from events, so that person can reflect on what is happening.
- Repression: A conscious decision to not set free a feeling, a state or a pulse. This repression differs from denial because it is rather conscious than unconscious.
- Asceticism: Trying to clear the pleasant aspects of life due to internal conflicts that produce pleasure. This mechanism may serve transcendental or spiritual purposes, as in celibacy.
- Altruism: Dedication of one person to another’s needs is above and beyond her own needs. Altruistic behavior can be under service of narcissistic problems, but can also be source of great accomplishments and positive contributions to society.
- Anticipation: Delay of immediate gratification through planning and reflection on the future achievements and successes.
- Sublimation: Transformation of convicted or unacceptable goals among social acceptable goals.