Defense Mechanisms

Theoretical, Research and Clinical Perspectives

Edited by

  • Uwe Hentschel, Leiden University, The Netherlands
  • Gudmund Smith, Psykologiska Institutionen, Lund, Sweden
  • Juris G Draguns, Pennsylvania State University
  • Wolfram Ehlers, Stuttgart, Germany

The book is focused on defense mechanisms as theoretical constructs as well as the possibilities of their empirical registration by different methods, and the application of these constructs in different fields of psychology with special regard to concurrent and predictive validity. It is argued that defense mechanisms are in many ways to be seen as integrative constructs, not necessarily restricted to psychoanalytic theory and that the potential fields of their application have a wide ranging scope, comprising many fields of psychology. Consequently empirical studies are presented from the fields of clinical and personality psychology, psychotherapy research and psychosomatic phenomena and diseases. Methodological questions have a heavy weight in most of these studies.
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Senior undergraduate as well as graduate students and academics in personality theory, individual differences, clinical and diagnostic psychology.


Book information

  • Published: June 2004
  • Imprint: NORTH-HOLLAND
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-51263-5

Table of Contents

Preface. GENERAL ISSUES. Defense Mechanisms: Current Approaches to Research and Measurement. (U. Hentschel et al.). Defense Mechanisms in a Casual Social Contact. From the Historical Roots of Defense Mechanisms to Contemporary Conceptualizations. Defenses: Theoretical, Observational, and Measurement Aspects. The Full Scope of the Defensive Process. Coping, Defending, and Cognitive Styles. Empirical approaches to the measurement of defenses. Theoretical and Empirical Implications of Regarding Defense as a Complex Construct.The Implications of the Complex Model Interpretation of Defense for Further Research. A Critical Perspective on Defense Mechanisms. (P. Kline). Freudian Psychoanalytic Defense Mechanisms. The Work of Vaillant and Horowitz. Conclusions. Defense Mechanisms in the Clinic, The Laboratory, and the Social World: Toward Closing The Gaps. (J. G. Draguns). Introduction: From Clinical Observation to Systematic Research. Defense Mechanisms: The Status of the Evidence. The Context of Defense Mechanisms. Defense Mechanisms in the Present: A Variety of Clinically Relevant Results. Beyond the Clinic: Extensions of Defense Mechanisms into Other Areas of Psychology. Unfinished Tasks, Unanswered Questions. Unfinished Tasks, New Topics. What is a Mechanism of Defense? (H. Sjöbäck). Percept-Genesis and the Study of Defensive Processes. (B. Westerlundh). Microgenesis, Percept-Genesis, and the Theory of Perception. Schools and Research Paradigms of Microgenesis.The Perceptual Process. Parallelisms. Determinants of the Percept. The Technique of Information Reduction. The Theory of Defense. Modifications of the Classical Theory. Percept-Genesis and the Study of Defensive Processes. The Defense Mechanism Test. The Meta-Contrast Technique. Validity of the Percept-Genetic Approach. PERCEPTIVE-GENETIC, PROJECTIVE AND RATING TECHNIQUES FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF DEFENSE MECHANISMS. Defense Mechanisms and Cognitive Styles in Projective Techniques and Other Diagnostic Instruments. (F. Leichsenring). Introduction. The Assessment of Defense Mechanisms. The Assessment of Low-Level Defense Mechanisms by Means of the Rorschach and the Holtzman Inkblot Technique.Cognitive Style: Avoidance of Ambiguity. Percept-Genetic Identification of Defense. (G. Smith, U. Hentschel). The Defense Mechanism Test (DMT). Modifications of the DMT.Percept-genetic Object-Relations Test (PORT). New Thematic Innovations Based on the DMT Device. The Meta-Contrast Technique (MCT). New Thematic Innovations Based on the MCT Device.The Identity Test (IT). DMT and MCT: A Comparison. Contributions to the Construct Validity of the Defense Mechanism Test. (B. E. Saitner). Method. Results and Discussion. Studying Defense Mechanisms in Psychotherapy Using the Defense Mechanism Rating Scales. (J.C Perry, M. Henry). Introduction. Description of the Defense Mechanism Rating Scales. The Selection of Raters. Rater Training. Methods of Comparing DMRS Defense Scores. Important Considerations Regarding Different Data Sources. Reliability and Stability of Defense Ratings. Recent and Ongoing Research Relevant to Psychotherapy. Potential Directions for Studying Defenses in Psychotherapy. The Motivational and Cognitive Determinants ofDefense Mechanisms. (S. Kreitler, H. Kreitler). Introduction. The Function of DMs.DMs as Cognitive Strategies. The Motivational Determinants of Defense Mechanisms. The CO Theory. Cognitive Determinants of Defense Mechanisms. Modifying Defense Mechanisms. Repressive Coping Style and the Significance of Verbal-Automatic Response Dissociations. (A. Schwerdtfeger, C.W. Kohlmann). The Repression Construct. Multiple Variable Approaches with Traditional Instruments. Person-Oriented Approaches. The Discrepancy Hypothesis. The One-Dimensional Operationalization of Repression-Sensitization andthe Discrepancy Hypothesis. Multiple Variable Approaches and Person-Oriented Approaches and the Discrepancy Hypothesis. Skin Conductance Studies. Cardiovascular Studies. Conclusions: What Do the Discrepancies Indicate? Verbal-Autonomic Response Dissociation and Health.Concluding Remarks. Perceptual and Emotional Aspects of Psychophysiological Individuality. (F. Lolas). Classic Notions of Augmenting/Reducing. Conceptualizations of the Activity/Reactivity Typology. A Psychodynamic Activation Study of Female Oedipal Fantasies Using Subliminal and Percept-Genetic Techniques. (B. Westerlundh). Hypotheses. Man Conditions. Woman Conditions. Method. Results. Discussion. Adaptation to Boredom and Stress: The Effects of Defense Mechanisms and Concept Formation on Attentional Performance in Situations with Inadequate Stimulation. (U. Hentschel, M. Kiessling, A. Hosemann). Introduction. Method. Results. Discussion. Stress, Autonomic Nervous System Reativity, and Defense Mechanisms. (P. Cramer). Defense Mechanisms and Physiological Reactivity to Stress. The Assessment of Defense Mechanisms. Defensive Behavior and Autonomic Reaction to Stress: Skin Conductance. Level. Defensive Behavior and Autonomic Reaction to Stress: CV Reactivity. Defense and Physiological Reactivity. Method. Results. Discussion. DEFENSE MECHANISMS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY AND CLINICAL RESEARCH. Clinical Evaluation of Structure and Process of Defense Mechanisms Before and During Psychoanalytic Treatment. (W. Ehlers). Introduction. The Defense Model of Ego Psychology. The Defense Model in Melanie Klein's Object Relations Theory. Research Methodology and Logical Definitions of DefenseMechanisms. Results of the Structure of Diagnostic Evaluation of Defense. Mechanisms (Part 1). Test of the Model of Ego-Psychology. Test of the Model of M. Klein's and O. Kernberg's Object Relations Theory. Defense Structure as a Determinant of Personality Diagnosis. The Process of Defense in Psychoanalytic Treatment (Part 2). Theory and Method of Process Analysis. Process Development and Identification of Segments for Patient G. Process Segments of Patient S (low structural level). The Process of Defense for Patients G and S in Constructing. Distinctive Defense Models During the Therapy Process. Conclusions. The Measurement of Ego Defenses in Clinical Research. (H. R. Conte, R. Plutchik, J. G. Draguns). Variations in the Concept of Ego Defenses. The Life Style Index. The Life Style Index and Clinical Research. Ego Defenses and Outcome for Hospitalized Schizophrenics. Ego Defenses and Outcome of Long-Term Psychotherapy. Defense Mechanisms in Relation to Risk of Suicide and Risk of Violence. Defense Mechanisms and Psychophysiology. Clinicians' Conceptions of Ego Defenses in Relation to Psychotherapy Outcome. Translations and Adaptations: International Extensions of the LSI. Conclusions and Directions for Future Research. Patterns of Adaptation and Percept-Genetic Defenses. (I. A. Rubino, A. Siracusano). Introduction. Method. Instruments. Results. Discussion. Intellectual Performance and Defense Mechanisms in Depression. (U. Hentschel et al.). Method. The Tests Used: The DMT and the Jastak Test. Changes in the Original Design of the Study. Results. Clustering on the Basis of the Jastak Test. Defense in Interaction with Intellectual Performance. Discussion. Defense Mechanisms and Hope as Protective Factors in Physical and Mental Disorders. (L. A. Gottschalk, J. Froncrek, R. J. Bechtel). Methods and Procedures. Measurement of Emotions and Defenses. Statistical Procedures. Results. Discussion. Summary and Conclusions. Defense Mechanism and Physical Health. (S. Kreider). Why Expect Defense Mechanisms to Play a Role in the Context of Physical Diseases? Assumed Roles of DMs in the Context of Physical Diseases. Difficulties in Studying DMs in the Context of Physical Diseases. DMs and Specific Physical Disorders. A study on DMS and Coping in Cancer Patients. General Conclusions. Patients Confronted with a Life-Threatening Situation: The Importance of Defense Mechanisms in Patients Facing Bone Marrow Transplantation. An Empirical Approach. (N. Grulke et al.). Introduction. Own Study. Results. Discussion. Two Prototypical Cases. A Preliminary Attempt of Evaluating the Meaning of the Two Functions. DEFENSE MECHANISMS IN PSYCHOSOMATIC RESEARCH. Defense Mechanisms, Life Style, and Hypertension. (U. Hentschel, F.J. Bekker). Introduction. Method, Sample and Procedure. Measurement of Defense Mechanisms. Values and Attitudes Towards Health and Illness. Registration of Life Events. Results. Discussion. In Defense of Obesity. (O. Rydén). Obesity - an Expanding Problem. The Simple but Unattainable Curing of Obesity. Origins of Obesity. Eating in Response to Displeasure. Eating in Response to Idiosyncratic Motives. Psychological Defense: An Alternative to Eating in the Control of Anxiety. Psychological Features in Obese Patients Investigated Before and After Treatment. Psychological Correlates of Differential Weight Loss After Treatment. Conclusions. An Experimental Study of Severe Eating Disorders(Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa).(P. Johnsson, G. Smith, G. Amnér). Introduction. Method. The Interview. Case Descriptions. Single and Double Pair-Wise Comparisons. The Identity Test (IT). The Meta-Contrast Technique (MCT). The Creative Functioning Test (CFT). Reliability of the Tests.Tennessee Self Concept Scale (TSCS). Results. Discussion. Defense Organizations and Coping in the Course of Chronic Disease: A Study on Crohns's Disease. (J. Küchenhoff). The Heidelberg Research Project on Crohn's Disease. Results. Case Example. Summary.Defense Mechanisms in Neuropsychological context. DEFENSE MECHANISMS AND THEIR PSYCHOPHYSIOLOGICAL CORRELATES. (U. Hentschel, G. Smith and J. G. Draguns). Introduction. Neuropsychology, Physiology and Defense Mechanisms: Is There an Empirical Link?Coping and Physiological Reactions. Empirical Evidence for the Relationship Between Defense Mechanisms and Physiological Variables. Neuropsychological Variables and Defense.Activation Theory and Defense. Lateralization and Defense. Other Measures of Central Processes in Relation to Defense. Cardiovascular and Skin Conductance Reactions inRelation to Defenses. Respiration and Defenses. Endocrine Parameters and Defense Mechanisms. Discussion. Index. List of Contributors.