101 Defenses: How the Mind Shields Itself

101 Defenses: How the Mind Shields Itself

Jerome S. Blackman

Language: English

Pages: 232

ISBN: 0415946956

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Defenses are mental operations that restore or maintain psychic equilibrium when people feel that they cannot manage emotions that stem from conflict; they remove components of unpleasant emotions from conscious awareness. For example, using sex, food, or hostility to relieve tension - that's a defense - catalogued here as entry number 68: Impulsivity. Screaming at someone can be a defense. Playing golf can be a defense. So can saving money. Or at least all of these activities may involve defenses. In this book, Blackman catalogs 101 defenses - the most ever compiled - with descriptions practical for use in everyday assessment and treatment of psychopathology. He explains how to detect and interpret a defense and offers supportive therapy techniques. The many practical tips interspersed throughout this text make it an excellent reference tool for students and experienced clinicians, while the user-friendly features allow all readers to experience how psychological defenses operate in everyday life.

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my words to him concerning the futility of killing himself. My introject apparently admonished him not to do anything “stupid” and reaffirmed for him that his own life was DEFENSES THAT ARISE IN PSYCHOSEXUAL DEVELOPMENT 21 worthwhile to someone (me), unlike to his father. It was that positive affirmation of caring (as opposed to the dynamic interpretation) that apparently impeded his suicide attempt. 3. Hallucination (Garma, 1969; Arlow & Brenner, 1964) Psychotic people see or hear thoughts

whatever someone else wants you to be in order to avoid problematic affects, commonly fear of loss. In West Side Story (Laurents, Bernstein, Sondheim, & Robbins, 1956), the protagonist, Tony, uses this defense. Although he initially knows better, after falling in love with Maria, he learns she is against the “fair fight” he had arranged between the rival gangs instead of a rumble. To avoid losing her love, he gives up his identity to become like her—to idealistically believe love can conquer all

“casual sex” with a stranger to relieve her depression. This defense is also illustrated in certain episodes of the T.V. show “Sex and the City,” where a group of women toy with “casual sex” or “having sex like a man” in order to relieve their unhappiness, loneliness, sexual frustration, and selfesteem difficulties that are brought about by infelicitous encounters with narcissistic/psychopathic men. 69. Substance Abuse (Wurmser, 1974) You use a concoction to quell intense, usually unpleasurable

then volunteered that she had “accidentally on purpose” gotten pregnant in a prior relationship before meeting her husband. [The appearance of new information, as well as affect discharge, are two indicators of a correct interpretation.] She had immediately obtained an abortion, and at the time this caused her to feel “relieved.” She did not connect her current depressive feelings with any of that disruptive history. [It seemed to me that she was using compartmentalization as a defense to manage

like a worst-case scenario dream. We’re relieved when it’s over to find that the awful consequences depicted have not actually happened to us. We, the audience, can then return to our efforts to derive the usual pleasures from living without the need for execution. Post Script Some Disclaimers I have taken as my task the limited goal of describing defenses and giving some information about them that can be useful to the practicing clinician. My theoretical orientation involves elements of ego

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