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defense mechanisms

An overview of defense mechanisms is presented.

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Defence mechanisms
Freud identified many defence mechanisms and felt they played a vital part in maintaining an individuals' equilibrium and dealing with anxiety from both internal and external sources. The main purpose of defence mechanisms are:

? Minimise conflict & reduce tension
? Maintain intrapsychic equilibrium
? Regulate self-esteem
? Deal with anxieties (disturbed feelings)

Other features of defence mechanisms include:
? They can be both normal/adaptive and pathological
? They are usually unconscious (we are not aware of them)
? They are dynamic & ever changing, but can become rigid ...

Solution Summary

What is the purpose of defense mechanisms? Is it possible for them to become harmful? Why or why not?