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29 Cards in this Set

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Key mechanism
Expressed by amnesia or forgetting serving to rid unacceptable fantasies, affects or impulses from consciousness
Enables one to make up for real or imagined deficits.
Napolean complex, person who stutters becomes expressive writer
repressed urge is expressed as a disturbance of body fxn (usually sensory, voluntary nervous system).
pain, deaf, blind, paralysis, convulsions, tics
Primitive Defense.
Inability to acknowledge true significance of thoughts, feelings, wishes, behavior, or external reality factors that are consciously intolerable.
Adult survivors of abuse deny it happened
Directing an impulse, wish or feeling toward a person/situation that is not its real object b/c it's safer.
you are mad at your boss, but kick your dog
When a person splits mental fxns in a manner that allows expression of forbidden/unconsious impulses w/o taking responsibility for the axn. He doesn't remember or it is not seen as their own experience.
fugue states, amnesia, dissociative neurosis, or normally expressed as daydreams.
overestimation of an admired aspect of attribute of another. Conscious or unconscious
A child thinking parents are flawless


Universal mechanism where a person patterns himself after a significant other. Plays major role in personality development, esp super ego
Feel you are like your idealized parent
Identification w/ the Aggressor
Mastering anxiety by identifying w/ a powerful aggressor (i.e. abusive parent) to counteract feelings of helplessness and to feel powerful oneself.
Abused person abusing someone else.


Primitive mechanism
Psychic representation of a person is figuratively ingested.
loss of motivation to engage in activity avoided b/c it might stir up conflict over forbidden impulses
ex. writing, learning, work blocks, social shyness
loved or hated external objects are symbolically absorbed within self (opposite of projection)
ex. in severe depression, unconscious unacceptable hatred is turned towards self.
ex. picking up traits from others, copying them
Isolation of Affect
unacceptable impulse, idea, act is separated from its original memory source, thus removing emotion associated with it
primitive defense
attributiing one's one disowned attitudes, wishes, feelings, urges to some external object
thinking your spouse is angry at the kids when you really are


third line of defense
not unconscious
giving believable explanation for irriational behaviors
Rxn formation
person acts opposite of what they really think/feel
excessive moral zeal masks asocial impulses.
excessively nice to mask anger
partial or symbolic return to more infantile patterns
potentially maladaptive feelings or behaviors are diverted into socially acceptable, adaptive channels
using sports to channel anger
unattainable/unacceptable goal, emotion or object is replaced by one acceptable/attainable
mental representation stands for something else. basis for dream formation, conversion rxns, obsessions, compulsions.
person uses words or axns to symbolically reverse or negate unacceptable thoughts, feelings or axns
compulsive handwashing to deal w/ obsessive thoughts
Turning Against Self
defense to deflect hostile aggression or other unacceptable impulses from another to self
Associated with borderline PD.
All "good" or all "bad." leads to selective lack of impulse control.
person cannot integrate good and bad in people.
Projective Identification
form of projection in borderline PD.
Unconsciously perceiving other's behaviors as a reflection of one's own identity.
seen in borderline PD
Person attributes exaggerated (-) qualities to self or anther
split of idealization
Acting Out
emotional conflict is dealt w/ through axns rather than feelings
ex. instead of talking about feeling neglected, a person will get into trouble to get attention
Deterioration of existing defenses.
conscious way of repressing. a psuedo defense mech.
helps reduce anxiety by focusing on unwanted events or feelings in a cold, clinical and emotionless way.