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Defence mechanism

  2. 2. FREUD’S MECHANISTIC VIEW OF THE MIND mind = machine that uses psychological energy; this energy can only be displaced or transformed (never destroyed)
  3. 3. Defense Mechanisms Freud Unconscious mental processes employed by the ego to reduce anxiety
  4. 4. A History of the Concept of defense • Freud first introduced the term in "The neuro-psychoses of defense"(1894). • “In order to ward off unacceptable ideas or feelings that would cause"distressing affect," a person unconsciously resorts to certain mental processes that oppose these ideas or feelings and render them less disturbing. These mental processes, which take place outside the person's awareness, he called "defenses”. • In 1936, Anna Freud published The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense. She elaborated and clarified the concept of defense. • She constructed a list of these "special methods of defense," which by now were called "defense mechanisms.“ • Wilhelm:-individual's defensive operations become embedded in his or her personality or character and that these traits of character must be analyzed along with the content of the person's associations, memories, feelings, and dreams.
  5. 5. tripartite model of the structure of the mind / STRUCTURE OF PERSONALITY 1. Id 2. Ego 3. Superego
  6. 6. id • The id is that part of the mind in which are situated the instinctual sexual drives which require satisfaction . • Nervous system translates the organism's needs into motivational forces called instincts or drives (Freud called them wishes) • Translation from need to wish is called the primary process . • pleasure principle: a demand to take care of needs immediately . • An example of this is an infant screaming for something. It does not know what it wants, it just knows it wants it now. • The id is developed at birth. • seeks instant gratification, causes impulsive unthinking behavior and has no regard for rules or social conversion.• Irrational and not based on reality. • It is a selfish, childish, pleasure-oriented part of the personality with no ability to delay gratification.
  7. 7. superego The superego contains internalised societal and parental standards of "good" and "bad", "right" and "wrong" behaviour. They include conscious appreciations of rules and regulations as well as those incorporated unconsciously. Super ego,the conscience,prohibitions learned from parents & authorities. The super-ego is that part which contains the 'conscience', socially-acquired control mechanisms (usually imparted in the first instance by the parents) which have been internalized. Two aspects to the superego: the conscience, which is an internalization of punishments and warnings; The other is called the ego ideal. Ego ideal derives from rewards and positive models presented to the child.
  8. 8. ego • Id is bridled & managed by ego. Ego delays satisfying id’s motives & channels behaviour in socially acceptable way. • it searches for objects to satisfy the wishes that id creates to represent the organisms needs . • This is called the secondary process. • Functions according to the reality principle: take care of a need as soon as an appropriate object is found . • Developed at around the age of one year • it keeps track of the rewards and punishments handed out by mom and dad • The ego acts as a moderator between the pleasure sought by the id and the morals of the superego, seeking compromises to pacify both. • It can be viewed as the individual's "sense of time and place".
  9. 9. • Once the balance between Super Ego, Ego and Id gives away, our minds are supposed to produce some defenses against causing factors. EXAMPLE • Suppose you lost your mother. Although it is an irreversible fact, you keep denying the reality so that you can protect yourself from severe sorrow and self- criticism. • If you don't employ denial or any other defense measures, you might continue falling into deep depression and not be able to come to the reality at all, or worse, you could just die.
  10. 10. Defense mechanism Unconscious, or partly conscious, maneuvers by which we avoid or minimize anxiety due to unpleasurable/troubling/potentially troubling id impulses , superego injunctions , or realistic dangers
  11. 11. Anxiety • Reality Anxiety – Most basic form: reality • e.g., dog bites, impending accidents – Reduce tension by immediate behavioral action • Neurotic Anxiety – anxiety arising from irresolvable conflicts—id desires clash with internalized prohibitions – or can arise from unconscious fear that (id) impulses will take control at an inopportune time – can be driven by fear of punishment or – threats to self esteem • Moral Anxiety – Results from fear of violating moral or societal codes – Appears as guilt or shame (irrational responsibility) Lady Macbeth experienced moral anxiety (after plotting the death of the King) and engaged in undoing to ward it off.
  12. 12. Why Defense Mechanisms? • We all need to manage/reduce anxiety – helps reduce drive conflicts – helps protect self esteem • Defense mechanisms distort, transform, or falsify reality (internal or external) – allow individual to reduce dissonance and minimize sudden changes in internal and external environments by altering perception of events • Conflicts and reality – reality has inevitable frustration of desires, – and of course lots of real pain, loss, disappointment…
  13. 13. George Valliant’s Classification DEFENCE MECHANISMS 13 • Narcissistic Defences : Most primitive. In children and adults who are psychotically disturbed. • Immature Defences: adolescents and some non neurotic patients. • Neurotic Defences: in OCD and hysterical patients and in adults under stress. • Mature defences
  14. 14. Defense Mechanisms Narcissitic Immature Anxiety Mature Denial Projection Splitting Blocking Regression Somatization Identification Displacement Repression Isolation of affect Acting out Rationalization Reaction formation Undoing Passive aggressive Dissociation Humor Sublimation Suppression
  15. 15. Defense mechanism Usual pattern Id impulse or superego injunction (including injunctions from conscience) —> emotion (including signal anxiety) that results from threat of id impulse being let loose or from superego's injunctions —> defense mechanism.
  16. 16. DENIAL DEFENCE MECHANISMS 16 • Avoiding the awareness of some painful aspect of reality by negating sensory data. • It abolishes external reality. • A person who is a functioning alcoholic will often simply deny they have a drinking problem, pointing to how well they function in their job and relationships. • Simple Denial,minimisation,Projection.
  17. 17. PROJECTION DEFENCE MECHANISMS 17 • Mechanism by which the ego attributes its own intolerable sexual and aggressive impulses to the outside person or agency. • Coping with one’s unwanted motives by shifting them on to someone else. • Anxiety arising from internal conflicts can then be reduced and problem dealt with as though it were in the external world.
  18. 18. DISPLACEMENT DEFENCE MECHANISMS 19 • The motive remains unaltered but the person substitutes a different goal object for the original one. • Often the motive is aggression that for some reason, the person cannot vent on the source of anger. • Shifting an emotion or drive from one idea or object to another that resembles the original in some aspect or quality. • Example:-The man who gets angry at his boss, but can’t express his anger to his boss for fear of being fired. He instead comes home and kicks the dog or starts an argument with his wife.
  19. 19. ACTING OUT DEFENCE MECHANISMS 20 • Expressing an unconscious wish or impulse through action to avoid being conscious of an accompanying affect. • Involves chronically giving in to an impulse to avoid the tension arising from postponement of expression. • Instead of saying, “I’m angry with you,” a person who acts out may throw a book at the person, or punch a hole through a wall. • When a person acts out, it can act as a pressure release, and often helps the individual feel calmer and peaceful once again.
  20. 20. DEFENCE MECHANISMS 21 • Ex. Tantrums, • For instance, a child’s temper tantrum is a form of acting out when he or she doesn’t get his or her way with a parent. • apparently motiveless assaults, child abuse
  21. 21. Regression involves taking the position of a child in some problematic situation, rather than acting in a more adult way. Can be simple and harmless, like a person sucking a pen, or may be more dysfunctional as crying or using moody arguments.
  22. 22. REGRESSION DEFENCE MECHANISMS 23 • Regression is normal phenomenon as well. Some amount of regression is needed for relaxation, sleep and orgasm in sexual intercourse. • In the face of threat, one may retract to an earlier pattern of adaptation, possibly a childish or primitive one. • EXAMPLE:-an adolescent who is overwhelmed with fear, anger and growing sexual impulses might become clingy and start exhibiting earlier childhood behaviors he has long since overcome, such as bedwetting,nail bitting etc.
  23. 23. Rationalization DEFENCE MECHANISMS 24  Offering rational explanations in an attempt to justify attitudes, beliefs or behaviour that may otherwise be unacceptable.  It is a method to support an attitude with false reasons.  Substituting an acceptable conscious motive for an unacceptable unconscious one.
  25. 25. DEFENCE MECHANISMS 26 Rationalization is very common among medical professionals in covering up medical errors • “Why disclose the error ?,the patient was going to die anyway” • “Telling the family about the error will make them feel worse”. • “It was patient’s fault ,if he wasn’t so obese, sick etc. this error wouldn’t have caused so much harm”. • “Well we did our best, these things happen.”
  26. 26. Reaction formation DEFENCE MECHANISMS 27 • Transforming an unacceptable impulse into its opposite. • If this mechanism is frequently used at any early stage of ego development it can become a permanent character trait, as in obsessional character. • Thus love may cover up unconscious hate, shyness serves as defence against exhibitionism. • Ex : when a 2nd child is born in a family the first child may show extraordinary concern for the welfare of the Newborn. This way his unconscious hate and aggression for his little brother is covered up.
  27. 27. Repression DEFENCE MECHANISMS 29 • Repression is the unconscious blocking of unacceptable thoughts, feelings and impulses. • Ego excludes from the consciousness all the psychological contents which it cannot fit in harmoniously. • Primary Repression: Curbing of ideas and feelings before they have attained consciousness. • Secondary repression : Excluding from awareness what was once experienced at the conscious level.
  28. 28. DEFENCE MECHANISMS 30 • Ex. When a child finds out about the birth of a 2nd baby, he may feel his love is divided. • He feels jealousy and rivalry towards his little brother. He represses his aggression for fear of punishment or further loss of love. But may channelize his aggression through some other activity, ex. By breaking his brothers toys.
  29. 29. Sublimation DEFENCE MECHANISMS 32 • For Freud, sublimation was the highest level of ego defence • Consists of redirection of sexual impulses to socially valued activities and goals. • He believed that much of our cultural heritage is the product of sublimation. • Ex.A writer may divert his libido to creation of poem/ novel. Thus indirectly satisfying drives. • Rejection by lover may induce one to divert hi energy to human welfare or artistic and literary activities.
  30. 30. INTROJECTION/IDENTIFICATION DEFENCE MECHANISMS 33 • Reverse of projection • Internalizing the qualities of an object.
  31. 31. • This uses the fantasy of being like another person or adopts behavior and character traits derived from another person. • For example A little boy who feels painfully small and weak may copy his father's behavior in order to feel big and strong.
  32. 32. Intellectualization DEFENCE MECHANISMS 35 • Excessively using intellectual process to avoid affective expression or experience. • To avoid intimacy with people, attention is paid to external reality to avoid the expression of inner feelings and stress is placed on irrelevant details to avoid percieving the whole. • Professionals who deal with troubled people may intellectualize in order to remain helpful without being overwhelmed by sympathetic involvement.
  33. 33. Intellectualization My husband just died and instead of acknowledging my feelings of grief and crying, for instance, I tell myself it makes no logical or philosophical sense to be upset because he is gone and being upset will not bring him back.
  34. 34. Humour DEFENCE MECHANISMS 37 • Using comedy to overtly express feelings and thoughts without personal discomfort and without producing an unpleasant effect on the others. • Freud suggested that “Humour can be regarded as the highest of these defensive processes” • Mature humour allows individuals to look directly at what is painful.
  35. 35. Humor My pants fall down in the middle of the street, and I just stand there laughing at myself.
  36. 36. ISOLATION Most used by obsessive-compulsive personalities, consists of the separation of ideas from the emotions that usually accompany them. For example a person may have the thought that his father will die, yet he experiences no emotion along with the thought; or a patient may tell his analyst that he has angry thoughts about him, but he does not feel angry. Sometimes a person's thoughts seem unbidden, alien, or unconnected; hence anxiety and guilt are diminished even though the thoughts are conscious.
  37. 37. Anticipation DEFENCE MECHANISMS 40 • Realistically planning or anticipating future inner discomfort. • Involves careful planning or worrying and premature, but realistic anticipation of dire and potentially dreadful outcomes. • Ex. Moderate amount of anxiety before surgery promotes post surgical adaptation
  38. 38. Suppression DEFENCE MECHANISMS 41 • Consciously or semi consciously postponing attention to a conscious impulse or conflict. • Issues may be deliberately cut off but they are not avoided.
  39. 39. OTHER TYPES •UNDOING:- A person tries to 'undo' an unhealthy, destructive or otherwise threatening thought by acting out the reverse of the unacceptable. Involves symbolically nullifying an unacceptable or guilt provoking thought, idea, or feeling by confession or atonement. •HYPOCONDRIASIS:- An excessive preoccupation or worry about having a serious illness. •IDEALIZATION:- Tending to perceive another individual as having more desirable qualities than he or she may actually have. •PASSIVE AGGRESSION:- Aggression towards others expressed indirectly or passively.
  40. 40. •SOMATIZATION:- The transformation of uncomfortable feelings towards others into uncomfortable feelings toward oneself: pain, illness, and anxiety. •TOLERANCE:- The practice of deliberately allowing or permitting a thing of which one disapproves.
  41. 41. WHY THIS MECHANISM IS INDISPENSABLE TO HUMAN BEINGS • Since people are supposed to act according to social norms, it requires them to regulate themselves. • Besides, without defense mechanism, the whole world could be a mess. • If people just followed their own instinctual drives without any brake, literally chaos will emerge. • In order to live together with others, people should utilize defense mechanism. • Defense mechanism helps to protect our whole society as well as ego from some displeasure. If defense mechanism fails to function properly, what will happen?
  42. 42. THANK YOU…