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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’).
There are a great number of ego defenses, and the combinations and circumstances in which one uses them reflect on one's personality. One could go so far as to argue that the self is nothing but the sum of its ego defenses. While people cannot entirely escape from ego defenses, they can gain some insight into how they use them.
MORE IDEAS FROM THE SAME ARTICLE
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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