Defenses

Staying in Love While Staying Yourself

A lot of couples talk to me about their struggles to stay close to each other in a way that feels vital and intimate. At the same time, they may also complain about a feeling of sacrifice or a way they’re having to compromise and give up certain aspects of themselves to be in the… Read more »

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Accepting Our Anger During the Pandemic

This January marks the 10th month that my husband and I have been quarantined in our home. Above all else, I am grateful that this has kept us safe from Covid. And in general, it’s been manageable. Lucky for me, I’m not a very restless person. Also lucky for me, I really enjoy my husband’s… Read more »

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Denial: The Danger in Rejecting Reality

“Denial was a weapon; it killed truth, numbed the mind, and I was a junkie.” – John Hart If you read the title and thought, “Oh, I don’t struggle with that,” then this post might be for you. In fact, one of Western society’s biggest problems is rooted in the defense mechanism theorized by psychoanalyst… Read more »

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3 Ways to Tell You’re Afraid of Intimacy

While most of us say we want love, pretty much all of us have some degree of fear around intimacy. The type and extent of this fear can vary based on our personal history: the attachment patterns we developed and the psychological defenses we formed to protect ourselves from early hurts. These patterns and defenses… Read more »

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Defense Mechanisms

“When children are faced with pain and anxiety in their developmental years, they develop defense mechanisms to cut off that pain. But the tragedy is that in cutting off the pain, you also cut deeply into their lives, so that defenses that were basically survival-oriented psychologically also serve as terrible limitations to the self.” ~… Read more »

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The Origin of Polarization, Prejudice, and Warfare

One of the most significant contributions of my theoretical approach, Separation Theory, is that it offers an understanding of the core dynamics underlying human aggression. It explains how people’s defensive nature and dependency on fantasy bonds polarize them against others with different customs and beliefs. In a similar vein, Schneider’s (2013) concept of “psychological polarization” describes the elevation of one… Read more »

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6 Major Influences that Stop You from Becoming Your True Self

To be nobody but yourself in a world that is doing its best, day and night, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting. ~ e.e. cummings Each individual faces a struggle against powerful odds to retain a unique selfhood and personal… Read more »

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Societal Defenses Against Death Anxiety

Faced with the painful awareness of death’s finality, individuals try to recreate a parent or parents in other people, groups, or institutions, or they search for a personal savior on earth or in the heavens. Just as the imagined merger with one’s family once provided its members with an illusion of immortality, group identification offers… Read more »

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It’s Not Your Fault: Overcoming Trauma

There is a famous scene in the film Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams, playing a therapist, compassionately repeats the line “It’s not your fault” to Will, a troubled young man with self-destructive tendencies, who happens to be a genius. The line is a response to the revelation of abuse Will endured as a child…. Read more »

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The Voice (The Enemy Within)

Discover the negative thoughts and attitudes at the core of a person’s maladaptation. The voice consists of a series of negative thoughts and attitudes toward oneself and others that is at the core of a person’s maladaptation. It can be conceptualized as the language of the defense system. The voice is not restricted to thoughts,… Read more »

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