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Defense Mechanisms in the Counseling Process in Groups
Defense mechanisms in the counseling process in groups

I want by understanding myself, to understand others. I want to be all that I am capable of becoming.

—(Catherine Mansfield, 1927, p. 254

Defense mechanisms that impair an individual's ability to relate effectively on an interpersonal level frequently become apparent in social exchanges in the group experience. A person's characteristic defense pattern often emerges in the sometimes threatening social context of a therapeutic group (Rutan & Stone, 1993). In a supportive and challenging group environment, the group leader and group members may provide constructive feedback to participants employing maladaptive defenses. Purposeful therapeutic interactions enable individuals in groups to clarify their conflicted behavior and regulate defense use (Clark, 1992, 1997).

Although groups ...

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