Defence Of Self Defence

932 Words4 Pages
Psychoanalysis proposes that the psychological well-being of individuals is maintained by largely unconscious devices (Cramer, 1998). However, to some extent individuals also need to be protected from the knowledge of these maintaining devices such that they operate in response to external and internal events which may cause harm to the conscious idea of the self (Baumeister, Dale, & Sommer, 1998). These self-protective measures are known as defences. This essay will follow an in-depth consideration of Busisiwe’s case to identify the possible defence mechanisms she is employing and for what possible self-protective reason relating specifically to her issues around relationship maintenance and anxiety towards feelings of failure. Further it…show more content…
The aim of which is to protect the ego from excessive anxiety, and overt awareness of perceived threats from both internal and external stressors (Olson, Perry, Janzen, Petreglia, & Presniak, 2011). Thus the superego will develop defensive mechanisms in order to preserve the ego’s perception of self. Therefore hindering the expression of the id which may result in a crisis (Baumeister, et al., 1998). Thus defences are built up to be relatively permanent structures (Frosh, 2012) in protecting the ego before the adverse situation even materialises. Further, the defences can result in a modification or distortion of reality thus ordering threats to be redirected such that the ego’s integrity remains unviolated and anxiety is avoided (Cramer,…show more content…
Regarding repression, it can either be understood independently as a defence mechanism, or as an underlying factor to a range of defensive mechanisms. It is often referred to as “motivated forgetting” (Frosh, 2012, p. 60) where the unacceptable conscious idea is actively shifted to the unconscious as it would be easier and less anxiety provoking to ‘hide’, rather than consciously address the disturbing idea (Frosh, 2012). This repression can be further distinguished as a primary or secondary repression. The former referring to the repression of the basic sexual and aggressive drives as they are represented mentally. Thus ideas associated with these primary drives are repressed well before the conscious becomes aware of them. Secondary repression however refers to when disturbing material has been made available to the conscious and is subsequently repressed into the unconscious as the content represents a threat to the ego (Baumeister, et al., 1998). However, the repression of threatening material to the unconscious still requires expression. Thus if repression becomes too rigid or begins to break down, the greater the push of the impulse desires to be expressed becomes, resulting in a portion of an

More about Defence Of Self Defence

Open Document