Advertisement

What Is a Mechanism of Defense?

  • Hans Sjöbäck

Abstract

We are all agreed on this point: the theory of defense is a cornerstone of psychodynamic thinking. The analytical literature on various aspects of this theory is vast. Yet, there are few surveys of the theory as a whole (cf. Sjöbäck, 1973), and we find conspicuous confusion and salient dissent in the discussion of even its basic assumptions. Here are three instances of confusion and/or dissent.

Keywords

Defense Mechanism Causal Chain Ontological Status Mental Content Elementary Particle Physic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Bibring, G.L., Dwyer, T.F., Huntington, D.S., & Valenstein, A.F. (1961) A study of the psychological processes in pregnancy and of the earliest mother—child relationship. Appendix B. Glossary of defenses. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 16, 62–72.Google Scholar
  2. Blum, H.P. (1983) Splitting of the ego and its relation to parental loss. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, Suppl., 31, 301–324.Google Scholar
  3. Dickes, R. (1965) The defensive function of an altered state of consciousness. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 13, 356–403.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dorpat, T.L. (1979) Is splitting a defense? International Review of Psychoanalysis, 6, 105–113.Google Scholar
  5. Dorpat, T.L. (1985) Denial and defense in the therapeutic situation. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  6. Freud, A. (1970) The symptomatology of childhood: A preliminary attempt at classification. In The writings of Anna Freud: Vol. 7 (pp. 157–188 ). Madison, CT: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  7. Freud, S. (1971) A disturbance of memory on the Acropolis. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud: Vol. 22 (pp. 239–250 ). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1936 ).Google Scholar
  8. Freud, S. (1971) Analysis, terminable and interminable. In The standard edition of the complete psychological works of Sigmund Freud: Vol. 23 (pp. 216–253 ). London: Hogarth Press. (Original work published 1937 ).Google Scholar
  9. Gill, M.M. (1963) Topography and systems in psychoanalytic theory. Psychological Issues, 3, Monogr. 2.Google Scholar
  10. Gillett, E. (1987) Defense mechanisms versus defense contents. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 68, 261–269.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Grotstein, J.S. (1981) Splitting and projective identification. New York: Jason Aronson.Google Scholar
  12. Hartmann, H. (1958) Ego psychology and the problem of adaptation. New York: International Universities Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Holt, R.R. (1975) Drive or wish? A reconsideration of the psychoanalytic theory of motivation. In M.M. Gill and P.S. Holzman (Eds.), Psychology vs. metapsychology. Psychoanalytic essays in honour of G.S. Klein. Psychological Issues, 9, Monogr. 36, pp. 158–197.Google Scholar
  14. Jacobson, E. (1957) Denial and repression. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 5, 61–92.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Loewenstein, R.M. (1967) Defensive organization and autonomous ego functions. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15, 795–809.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Lustman, J. (1977) On splitting. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 32, 119–154.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Moore, B.E. & Rubinfine, D.L. (1969) The mechanism of denial. Monograph Series of the Kris Study Group of the New York Psychoanalytic Institute: Vol. 3, pp. 3–57.Google Scholar
  18. Ogden, T.H. (1979) On projective identification. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 60, 357–373.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Pruyser, P.W. (1975) What splits in splitting? A scrutiny of the concept of splitting in psychoanalysis and psychiatry. Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic, 39, 1–46.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Rapaport, D. (1960) The structure of psychoanalyze theory: A systematizing attempt. Psychological Issues, Monogr. 6.. International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  21. Rohsco, M. (1967) Perception, denial, and derealization. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15, 243–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Sandler, J. (Ed.) (1988) Projection, identification, projective identification. London: Karnac Books.Google Scholar
  23. Sarlin, C.N. (1962) Depersonalization and derealization. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 10, 784–804.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sjöbäck, H. (1973) The psychoanalytic theory of defensive processes. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  25. Sperling, S.J. (1958) On denial and the essential nature of defense. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 39, 25–38.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Wallerstein, R.S. (1967) Development and metapsychology of the defensive organization of the ego. Panel report. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 15, 130–149.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Wallerstein, R.S. (1983) Self psychology and “classical” psychoanalytic psychology: The nature of their relationship. Psychoanalysis and Contemporary Thought, 6, 553–595.Google Scholar
  28. Wallerstein, R.S. (1985) Defenses, defense mechanisms, and the structure of the mind. In H.P. Blum (Ed.), Defense and resistance. Historical perspectives and current concepts (pp. 201–225 ). Madison, CT: International Universities Press.Google Scholar
  29. Wilson, D. (1983) Rutherford: Simple genius. London: Hodder and Stoughton.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Sjöbäck

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations