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Defense Mechanisms

  1. Denial: Refusing to accept reality or fact, acting as if a painful event, thought, or feeling does not exist.
  2. Repression: Unconsciously blocking unwanted thoughts and feelings from entering conscious awareness.
  3. Projection: Attributing one's own unacceptable thoughts, feelings, or motives to another person.
  4. Displacement: Redirecting thoughts, feelings, and impulses directed at one person or object, but taken out on another.
  5. Regression: Reverting to an earlier stage of development in the face of unacceptable thoughts or impulses.
  6. Rationalization: Creating a seemingly logical reason or excuse for behavior that might otherwise be shameful.
  7. Sublimation: Channeling unacceptable impulses, thoughts, and emotions into more acceptable ones.
  8. Reaction Formation: Overcompensating or demonstrating the opposite behavior of what is felt.
  9. Intellectualization: Using logic, reasoning, and analysis to emotionally distance oneself from a stressful situation.
  10. Identification: Associating with people or groups that are of a higher status or whom we admire, to increase self-esteem.
  11. Compensation: Overachieving in one area to compensate for failures in another.
  12. Splitting: Viewing others as either all good or all bad, with no middle ground.



  1. Denial: Imagine a famous actor, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (Denial - Dwayne), pretending not to see an elephant in the room. This represents Denial, where one refuses to accept reality.
  2. Repression: Picture a heavy, old-fashioned iron press (Repression - Press) sitting on top of some papers with thoughts and feelings written on them, symbolizing the blocking of unwanted thoughts.
  3. Projection: Visualize a movie projector (Projection - Projector) that, instead of showing a film, is projecting personal thoughts and feelings onto a screen showing another person's face.
  4. Displacement: Imagine a displaced knight (Displacement - Displaced Knight) in chess. Instead of moving towards the king, he redirects his move to a pawn, symbolizing the redirection of feelings.
  5. Regression: Think of a regal lion (Regression - Regal Lion) suddenly turning into a playful cub. This represents reverting to an earlier stage of development.
  6. Rationalization: Envision a scientist (Rationalization - Rational Scientist) coming up with a complex equation to justify why his experiment failed, creating logical excuses for the failure.
  7. Sublimation: Picture a submarine (Sublimation - Submarine) transforming into a beautiful sea creature. This symbolizes channeling unacceptable impulses into something more acceptable.
  8. Reaction Formation: Imagine a firefighter (Reaction - Firefighter) who secretly fears fire, but overcompensates by bravely fighting fires, demonstrating the opposite behavior of what is felt.
  9. Intellectualization: Visualize Albert Einstein (Intellectualization - Einstein) calmly solving complex equations amidst a chaotic environment, using logic to distance himself from stress.
  10. Identification: Think of a fan (Identification - Fan) wearing a jersey and associating with a famous sports team to feel a part of something greater.
  11. Compensation: Picture a compensation package (Compensation - Compensation Package) filled with trophies in one area but lacking in another, symbolizing overachievement in one area to make up for failures in another.
  12. Splitting: Imagine a split personality character (Splitting - Split Personality) from a movie, portraying characters as either heroes or villains with no middle ground.