We?re going to review defense mechanisms.
And first, it?s important to be familiar with some of the behavior theorists
who gave rise to our thinking about defense mechanisms.
Behavior theory, when we think about that, we often think of Sigmund Freud.
He believes that behaviors result from unconscious mental processes
including defense mechanisms and conflicts between one?s ego id, super ego and external reality.
We?ll talk a little bit more about Freud now. So, who was he?
Well, he?s an Austrian born neurologist, considered the founder of Psychoanalysis.
And he developed both topographic and structural theories of the mind,
which will review in more details soon. Some other theorists you might wanna be familiar with
include Melanie Klein. She was an Austrian-British psychoanalyst,
she?s known for her work in child psychology and also psychoanalysis.
She?s a leader in object relations theory. Melanie Klein developed a psyche in relation...
believed that people develop the psyche in relation to others in the environment during their childhood.
So what is the psyche? You might ask. It?s the totality of the conscious and unconscious mind.
The first object Klein hypothesized in someone is usually an internalized image
of their mother, or maybe whoever that primary care giver was when someone was an infant.
Heinz Kohut is an Austrian-American, he practiced psychoanalysis and he?s best to known
for his development of self-psychology. So, self-psychology means that,
Kohut hypothesized an individual has a three-part self.
And we can only develop when the needs of one?s self states including one?s sense of worth,
well being are met within relationships to others. Margaret Mahler is a Hungarian physician,
who later gained interest in psychiatry. She became a psychoanalyst and she was interested
in the ??self?? of children and developed the separation individuation theory of child development.
We?re gonna review a little bit more about Freud and what he thought.
So, Freud?s theory of the mind, he believed that thoughts that are out of one?s awareness
are repressed thoughts or part of our unconscious process.
Further more he believed that the preconscious includes memories or thoughts
that are just below the surface but can with effort be brought into reality,
or into the conscious which is ones current thoughts that are completely in our own awareness.
The primary process thinking or part of the unconscious is primitive
and involves pleasure seeking urges with no regard to logic or time.
And it?s prominent in children and those with psychotic disorders.
According to Freud?s structural theory of the mind, we all have an id, ego, and a superego.
So the id is really our unconscious state, while the ego is our conscious self-awareness state.
And the superego is similar to that preconscious, it really balances out the id and the ego.
Again, the unconscious is out of our awareness and can actually include sexual
and aggressive urges whereas the ego is the mediator between the id and the external environment.
The ego?s job is to develop gratifying interpersonal relationships.
It relies on defenses to achieve this and to control our most primitive urges.
And the superego of course is that moral conscience that we all have.
Problems with reality testing often occur in psychotic individuals.
Defense mechanisms are used by the ego to protect oneself and relieve anxiety
by keeping conflicts out of our awareness. And the unconscious processes that are normal
and healthy when used in moderation, also define our defense mechanisms.
There are several different groups of defense mechanisms. We categorized them as mature,
neurotic, and immature. We?ll go on to talk about examples of these in more detail
in a later lecture. For now, maybe you could start thinking about what types of defenses
would you define as mature, neurotic, or immature. For now, that concludes our discussion
of some of the theorists behind defense mechanisms. You?ve now heard of some
of the most important contributors to the field of psychiatry and a little bit about
what they offered to our field and how we can better understand defenses
according to their different theories.