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2009-12-27 04:53:25
Examples of common defense mechanisms include

Mental Health
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  1. Suppression: Consciously inhibiting an impulse or emotion that is unacceptable to the person
    Joe does not want to discuss his mother's recent death and continually tells his wife, “We'll talk about it tomorrow.”
  2. Repression: Unconsciously inhibiting an impulse or emotion that is unacceptable to the person
    Lauren, who was in an automobile accident in which she did not lose consciousness or suffer any brain damage, cannot recall anything that happened directly before, during, or after the event.
  3. Reaction-formation: Displaying a behavior, attitude, or feeling opposite to that which one would normally exhibit in the same situation
    Peter does not like his stepfather but is overly polite and kind to him.
  4. Rationalization: Trying logically to justify irrational or socially (or personally) unacceptable behaviors or feelings
    Twelve-year-old Jill fails to be elected to student council. She says that “The elections were probably fixed, and student council is for nerds, anyway.”
  5. Displacement: Unconsciously transferring feelings onto another person or object
    Michelle is upset with her husband, but yells at her preschool-age daughter, who in turn yells at the family dog.
  6. Denial: Disavowing the existence of unpleasant realities
    Gordon, recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, tells his family that he feels fine and the doctors do not know what they're talking about.
  7. Projection: Attributing to another person one's unacceptable thoughts and feelings
    Chuck accidentally erases files from his computer. He yells at his son, “See what you made me do with all that noise,” and calls the computer names.
  8. Sublimation: Diverting unacceptable urges into personally and socially acceptable channels
    Madeline, who has always been very shy and nervous, forces herself to join the college drama team.
  9. Intellectualization: Unconsciously transferring emotions into the realm of intellect; using reasoning as a means of avoiding confrontation with objectionable impulses
    Lincoln, going through a messy divorce, refuses to become emotional about the situation. He continually philosophizes about the meaning of relationships and love, saying things like “Nothing lasts forever.”