, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 178-191

The counterphobic defense in children

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The clinical data for this study were derived from the case histories of five children who consistently used the counterphobic defense either alone or in combination with phobic attitudes. The children's manifestations of this defense appeared in both verbal and nonverbal behavioral patterns. The choice of defensive style was found related to at least three factors: an early history of trauma, especially separation, parental encouragement of “toughness,” and essentially a counterphobic family style.