How the Mind Shields Itself
Routledge – 2004 – 232 pages
Defenses are mental operations that restore or maintain psychic equilibrium when people feel that they cannot manage emotions that stem from conflict; they remove components of unpleasant emotions from conscious awareness. For example, using sex, food, or hostility to relieve tension - that's a defense - catalogued here as entry number 68: Impulsivity. Screaming at someone can be a defense. Playing golf can be a defense. So can saving money. Or at least all of these activities may involve defenses. In this book, Blackman catalogs 101 defenses - the most ever compiled - with descriptions practical for use in everyday assessment and treatment of psychopathology. He explains how to detect and interpret a defense and offers supportive therapy techniques. The many practical tips interspersed throughout this text make it an excellent reference tool for students and experienced clinicians, while the user-friendly features allow all readers to experience how psychological defenses operate in everyday life.
Preface. Acknowledgements. Introduction. General Concepts About Defenses. Defenses that Arise in the Oral, Anal and Phirst Genital Phases of Psychosexual Development. Latency, Adolescent, and Assorted Defenses. Defenses Used in the Diagnosis of Psychopathology. Interpretative Techniques. Differential Diagnosis and Treatment Selection. Supportive Therapy Techniques. Defenses in the Assessment of Suicidal Propensities. Appendix 1: Schizophrenia: History of Development of Diagnostic Criteria. Appendix 2: Ego Strengths Assessed in Diagnosis. Appendix 3: Chart: Psychoanalytic Diagnostic Considerations. Appendix 4: A Bit of History of Object Relations Theory. Appendix 5: Bizet's Carmen on the Couch.
Jerome S. Blackman, M.D., is Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Eastern Virginia Medical School and a training civilian supervisor and consultant to the faculty at the Naval Medical Center Department of Psychiatry in Portsmouth, Virginia.