Defense Mechanisms (Education)

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  • A concept that originates from the psychodynamic theories of Freud and involves the unconscious psychological strategy of tension reduction, which allows us to cope with anxiety, an aversive psychological state that individuals attempt to avoid. Defense mechanisms are developed by the ego to deal with the demands created by the id, the superego, and reality. According to Freud's topographical model of personality, the ego deals with reality. Therefore, the ego has to deal with the demands frequently conflicting with the id and the superego. The defense allows the unconscious feeling that we cannot consciously tolerate to be expressed only indirectly in a disguised manner. When the anxiety becomes too overwhelming, the ego activates defense mechanisms to protect the individual. Feelings of anxiety are often ...

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