Personality Adjustment and Conflict

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Transcript Personality Adjustment and Conflict

Personality Adjustment and Conflict
Self Defense Mechanisms
Think of a situation in your life
where you acted like nothing was
wrong when there really was.
Defense Mechanisms
• Defense mechanisms help us cope with
unbearable thoughts, feelings and wishes.
• The idea of this comes from Freud’s
Psychoanalytic Theory that our subconscious
can impact our lives by showing up in our
Why do we use defense mechanisms?
• Defense Mechanisms do for anxiety, what
endorphins do for physical pain – reduce
• They can be helpful – lead our lives in difficult
• They can be dangerous – distort reality, keep
us from taking action in bad situations
Why do we use Defense
• Defenses hide a variety of thoughts and
• Anger, sadness, fear, depression, greed, envy,
competitiveness, love, passion, admiration,
criticalness, dependency, selfishness or
helplessness and more.
What is repression, suppression and
• Suppression involves the conscious desire to
• Repression differs from suppression in that
you are not aware you are doing it
• Freud: “repression is damming up a pool, repressed
wishes, thoughts will leak through the barriers that
separate the unconscious from the conscious.” =
Freudian Slips
Have you ever
heard of the
What are Conversion Disorders?
• Serious psychological trauma that converts itself
into a real dysfunction.
• Severe examples: hysterical blindness, false
pregnancy, hysterical paralysis. These physical
symptoms DO exist, but are rare.
• Hypochondrasis: most common conversion
disorder. Over concern about health. Can begin
from childhood when great attention was paid to
them when they were sick, and not under healthy
How strong is the power of suggestion?
• Psychological issues can impact biology
• Extreme examples: voo-doo, sudden death
syndrome, etc.
• Somatoform Disorders: condition in which
psychological issues are expressed in bodily
symptoms in the absence of any real physical
• Mild examples: man feels morning sickness
due to wife’s pregnancy, etc.
Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy
• A condition that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of
illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker.— usually a
mother — deliberately makes another person (most often his
or her own preschool child) sick or convinces others that the
person is sick.
• As a result, doctors usually order tests, try different types of
medications, and may even hospitalize the child or perform
surgery to determine the cause.
• An aspect of the syndrome is the ability of the parent or
caregiver to fool and manipulate doctors. Frequently, the
perpetrator is familiar with the medical profession.
What did we learn?
What is the name for feeling physically sick from an emotional reaction?
Hypochondrias (Hypochondria)
What is the name for pushing back memories that make you uncomfortable
What is the name for totally forgetting memories that make you uncomfortable
Why do we use defense mechanisms?
To protect ourselves from emotional pain even when we are not aware we are doing it.
Taking out our frustrations on others who are not responsible – but safer.
What is the disorder where parents, often the mother, cause harm to their child for attention
and other psychological reasons?
Munchausen’s Syndrome by Proxy
Going back to a time when we felt safe and life was simpler/immature behavior
What is displacement?
I hate this pie!!!
I can’t believe
Bertha broke up
with me.
• Venting our feelings on someone other than
Separation of emotion from its real object and redirection of the intense
emotion toward someone or something that is less offensive or threatening in
order to avoid dealing directly with what is frightening or threatening
What is regression?
• The process of going backwards
in thoughts and behavior to a
period when we were taken care
of as children…or a younger
simpler age when your life was
What is Reaction Formation?
•Expressing the opposite
of what we really feel
•Sometimes someone
with very vocal and strong
opinions about a topic
actually practices the
opposite of what they
You have cooties!
You smell!
She’s really
pretty, I wonder
if she likes me?
Wow, he’s
talking to me!!
The process of expressing the opposite of what we feel
What is Undoing?
• Trying to reverse or undo your feeling by doing
something that indicates the opposite.
I hate my boss – he
makes my life
miserable! I’ll send
him a birthday email.
What is intellectualization?
• The process of removing our feelings about an
event and discussing it in a calm rational
unemotional way.
…and then it burned down, can
you believe that? Yup, lost
everything. Can I have more iced
What is projection?
• The process of
attributing our
own thoughts to
someone else.
• Example: Insisting
that your friend is
angry at you –
when in reality
you are angry at
your friend.
What do you MEAN
“How do I feel?” Are
you giving me a
reason to feel bad?!
What is sublimation
• The process of channeling
emotional energy into constructive or
creative activities
“Drive past any school playground and find the kid sitting by himself looking
miserable…that’s your future successful writer”)
• Sublimation takes the energy of something
that is potentially harmful and turns it to
doing something good and useful
It is probably the most useful and constructive
of the defense mechanisms – to a point
What is rationalization?
• The process of explaining a problem so as not
to take any blame
Victims of domestic
violence are often told “You
deserved it” or “I didn’t
want to hit you, but you
asked for it”. This is a form
of rationalization. Victims
also sometimes exhibit the
defense mechanism
“Identification with
Identification with aggressor
Taking on characteristics of someone who
• has mistreated us in order to
psychologically avoid abuse.
• Stockholm Syndrome: The behavior of kidnap victims who,
over time, become sympathetic to their captors. The name
derives from a 1973 hostage incident in Stockholm, Sweden.
The behavior is considered a common survival strategy for victims of
interpersonal abuse, and has been observed in battered spouses, abused
children, prisoners of war, and concentration camp survivors
What is acting out?
• An emotional conflict that results in bad
What is Passive Aggression?
• Exhibiting anger in a non-threatening way.
Sarcasm is an example of passive aggression.
What is Isolation of Affect?
• You “think” the feeling, but don’t really feel it.
I should be upset that I
wrecked my car on the way
here – but I really don’t
What did we Learn?
• There is a strong connection between mind and body
• The key to handling life’s problems seems to be actual control,
or at least the belief that you are in some control (locus of
control and adaptability)
• The belief that you can achieve things in a realistic manner (self
• Psychological defense mechanisms are used to protect us–
using them in moderation helps to protect our sense of wellbeing to recover from: personality defects, mistakes, emotional
pain or problems.
• Healthy Personality: accepting yourself and others, being
flexible, realistic but still optimistic, and exhibiting control over
your life, even when faced with difficulties. A sense of humor
helps too!
What did we learn?
What is expressing the opposite of what we feel
Reaction Formation
What is the name for not really reacting to emotional pain and explaining it away in removed
Isolation of Affect/Intellectualization
What is the name for putting emotional pain into physical activity
What is doing something nice for someone we dislike
What is behaving badly for some unassociated reason
Acting OutWhat is the name for putting emotional pain into physical activity
What is attributing your own thoughts onto someone else
What is sarcasm and hostility done with a smile
Passive Aggression
What is taking the blame for something that is not your fault to keep peace
Rationalization for an aggressor
(Pg.476-480) Page 478 in text has cartoons of some
mechanisms . Your notes and Defense Mechanisms
Sheet will be useful too
•In your group of friends, develop an
example/situation for each defense
mechanism in your handout
•Good examples take some time to
develop the scene, characters and
situation at hand.
1. Classwork - Early Psych and
Approaches – Quiz Grade
Page 23:
• Vocabulary
• Questions 1-5 and 10 – 20
Page 24:
• Discussion Questions1, 3 and 4
Do in notebook – will check for quiz grade
You may work with a partner