`[The client material]... stimulated thought and reflection... Clark presented a large number of very tricky case studies and illustrated all manner of different and interesting ways of responding to clients who find it difficult to engage with the process of counselling. Furthermore, this is done in the framework of a model of counselling which integrates humanistic, psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioural theories in a most interesting and convincing way. In the end, I learned quite a lot and found myself pondering the case histories days later' - Counselling, The Journal of the British Association for Counselling The understanding of defence mechanisms is vital to counsellors and psychotherapists, particula
Chapter 4: Identification
But I identify myself, as always,
With something that there's something wrong with,
With something human.
—Randall Jarrell, 1965, p. 451
The particularly human tendency of individuals to identify with other people commonly occurs both as a developmental process and as a defense mechanism. Developmentally, interactions with various persons in an individual's environment during sustained periods have a significant impact on shaping one's personality. Related to this universal phenomenon of identification as a primary developmental process is the defense mechanism of identification. As a more circumscribed construct, its application involves identifying with others as a response to threat and conflict. Consider, for instance, the marginalized adolescent who joins a gang and revels in the perceived power and authority inherent in the group membership. In another example, a child ...