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Psychology and Mental Health

Chicago, USA
Related Subjects

Ego mechanisms of defense: A guide for clinicians and          researchers

Author(s): Vaillant GE


This volume, with contributions by interdisciplinary researchers, lays the groundwork for future research by summarizing empirical studies to date, proposing a universal language of defense mechanisms, and demonstrating how various assessment methods can be used in diagnosis, case formulation, and treatment.
An opening section on clinical applications reaches back to Sigmund Freud's discovery of individual defenses, tracing the evolution of their use in psychotherapy over the years. Based on the need for a common language of defenses, Dr. Vaillant then puts forth clear descriptions of each defense, explaining how each may be recognized and used in psychotherapy. The second section reviews in depth the proliferation of empirical studies that have finally made the systematic study of defense mechanisms tangible to serious investigators.
Do defense mechanisms reflect enduring facets of one's personality? Can defensive functioning be measured? And if so, with what degree of interrater reliability or validity? Are individuals aware of their own defenses? And what do these defenses foretell? These are just a few of the questions explored in this volume. 

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