The Defense Mechanisms of Personality Styles

By Eva Gregersen

The notion of defense mechanisms is central to the field of psychodynamic theory as a whole. Their discovery is widely credited to Freud and seen as among his most important discoveries (although as others have noted, Nietzsche really beat Freud to many of these realizations). In this overview, I list 15 different defense mechanisms and offer examples of how they play out in practice.

I also specify which personality styles are linked to each defense mechanism. We all draw on a variety of different defense mechanisms when our worldview is threatened, however, there tends to be a relation between one’s preferred mode of defense and one’s personality style. ...

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