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For example, if a patient undergoing psychoanalysis is regarded by her analyst as being in denial about her sexual orientation, then both disagreeing with the analyst and having a string of heterosexual relationships can be taken to confirm her supposed homosexuality: “You’re only saying this because you’re in denial … You only did that because you’re in denial.” As a result, the patient cannot possibly prove her heterosexuality to the analyst and might even come to believe that the analyst is correct.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE
In psychoanalytic theory, ego defenses are unconscious processes that we deploy to diffuse the fear and anxiety that arise when who we think we are or who we think we should be (our conscious ‘superego’) comes into conflict with who we really are (our unconscious ‘id’).
Denial, probably the most basic of ego defences, is the simple refusal to admit to certain unacceptable or unmanageable aspects of reality, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. An example of denial is a middle-aged physician who ignores the classic ...
It is often difficult to verify the existence of an ego defence, but a person’s denial in the face of hard evidence to the contrary can easily be spotted by almost anyone else.
People might move back and forth between the stages, often several times and at great speed, or they might get stuck in one of the earlier stages, failing to come to terms with their loss or fate. The model has been criticized on a number of grounds, but Kübler-Ross did emphasize...
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