Defense Mechanisms

By Renée Grinnell

According to Sigmund Freud, defense mechanisms are psychological strategies used to cope with reality, protect one’s self-image, or resolve conflict within oneself or with another person; denial, regression, and repression are all examples of defense mechanisms.

Example: Ten years after her brutal rape, a woman continues to avoid confronting her feelings about the attack by denying to herself that it ever took place.


    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Nov 2008