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Defense Mechanisms: Good, Bad, and Personal - Research Paper Example

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 This research paper focuses on what defense mechanisms are, how they affect the lives of people, negative and positive ways in which they are thought of, and the consequences that they have. Included in this paper are the writer personal reflections about what defense mechanisms he possesses…
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Defense Mechanisms: Good, Bad, and Personal
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Download file to see previous pages   On a daily basis, people engage in what is known as defense mechanisms. Examples of these can range from a simple excuse to a superior at the workplace about an assignment, to more serious forms, such as an alcoholic pleading to a judge that they do not have a drinking problem, despite a lengthy arrest record showing otherwise. The consequences can hold just as large of a range as the mechanisms themselves, for while people are willing to forgive one or possibly two excuses, forgiveness will not last forever. All defense mechanisms, however, have one thing in common, which is that they give people a way to cope with the obstacles that are currently being faced in their lives, whatever they may be. The term defense mechanism was first coined by Sigmund Freud. The now-famous therapist and founder of psychoanalysis, through his research, explored a way of opening the mind and unlocking places within it that were previously thought inaccessible, termed the “unconscious (Jones, 1956). Through his work, he came to the conclusion that the mind does not function as a whole, but as separate entities that must function together for the good of the individual (Jones, 1956). In doing so, the mind developed ways and means, or mechanisms, for dealing with, or defending against, the problems, challenges, and obstacles that were thrown up before it (Jones, 156). As such, the mind helps the body to cope with the challenges it faces. Defense Mechanisms: What They Are and How They Work Defense mechanisms, as a thought of by Freud, include those things which help people to better protect or “defend” against thoughts or actions against their person (Grohol, 2010). They also define how people distance themselves from the situations they are unable to cope with (Grohol, 2010). Most defense mechanisms are behaviors that are learned in childhood, when the mind is not fully mature and able to deal with challenges that arise, especially in emotional situations (Grohol, 2010). In employing defense, the mind can help itself by putting the problem on hold until it can deal with it (Grohol, 2010). Though this may not always be a good thing, it is invariably what can happen if someone is faced with a situation that they cannot deal with. Take, for example, a child whose parents are going through a divorce. The child may feel as though they are asked to choose, in essence, who they love more. To cope with this, and to avoid feeling like a ping-pong ball, the child employs the mechanism of denial, saying that their parents are not getting divorced, everything is fine, and they will all live happily ever after. Defense mechanisms can change just as people do. As people grow to maturity, though defense mechanisms may already be in place, they become less and less effective in the long term, as the mind attempts to evolve and learn (Grohol, 2010).   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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