New PDF release: Protecting the Self: Defense Mechanisms in Action

By Phebe Cramer PhD

Integrating concept, examine, and useful functions, this well timed publication presents a accomplished exam of safeguard mechanisms and their function in either general improvement and psychopathology. the writer describes how youngsters and adults mobilize particular different types of defenses to keep up their mental equilibrium and defend vainness, relatively in events of trauma or pressure. Many lucid examples illustrate what those mechanisms appear like in daily life; the effect of age, gender, and character changes; what occurs while defenses are used maladaptively; and the way they're laid low with psychotherapy. demanding situations in evaluate are thought of, and empirically supported tools and methods are mentioned extensive.

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Additional info for Protecting the Self: Defense Mechanisms in Action

Example text

SANDLER AND JOFFE (1967, p. 513) I t seems clear that defense mechanisms play a useful and necessary role in our everyday life; we find evidence that most people do use these mental maneuvers to deal with disappointment, anger, and other stressful emotions. But how do these mental operations come about? Are they learned in the same way that we learn other mental skills, or are they part of the innate developmental plan, unfolding over time as do many other mental capacities, such as understanding causality, conservation, perspective taking, and the use of abstract logic.

The realization that there was a parallel between the age of understanding specific defenses and the age at which there was a decline in the Development of Defenses 25 use of those defenses raised the intriguing possibility that defense use and defense understanding might be linked. Could it be that, once a child understands how a defense works, she abandons the use of that defense because it no longer serves its function? Because the effectiveness of a defense depends on the user’s ignorance of its disguise function, it is no longer an effective defense once an individual understands how the defense is disguising an unacceptable thought or feeling.

By later adolescence (age 16), identification had become predominant, being used more frequently than either projection or denial (Cramer, 1987). A critical test of theory and research is its replication by an independent researcher from a different laboratory. , 1998). The youngest children in this group were slightly older (7 years) than the youngest group in my study (age 5); Porcerelli also included college students in the investigation. 2, the results from his independent study virtually replicated my earlier results.

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