INSIDE THE ART, CRAFT AND BUSINESS OF WRITING for Film, TV, Books, Stage, Print or Digital Media (with Particular Attention to Comedy)

“D” is for Defense Mechanism

These categories can help you develop and dimensionalize characters – and to help shape storylines – in any kind of fiction. Of course, it made me proud that my favorite personal defense mechanism is Humor, which is considered a ‘Mature’ defense.

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28 Defense Mechanisms

Adapted from Adaptation to Life by George Vaillant

Based on The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense by Anna Freud

Mature Defenses

  • Altruism
  • Anticipation
  • Asceticism
  • Humor
  • Sublimation
  • Suppression

Narcissistic Defenses

  • Denial
  • Distortion
  • Projection

Immature Defenses

  • Acting out
  • Blocking
  • Hypochondriasis
  • Introjection
  • Passive-aggressive
  • Regression
  • Schizoid fantasy
  • Somatization

Neurotic Defenses

  • Controlling
  • Displacement
  • Externalization
  • Inhibition
  • Intellectualization
  • Isolation
  • Rationalization
  • Dissociation
  • Reaction Formation
  • Repression
  • Sexualization

This is just one of hundreds of articles and thousands of links in “Miller’s Compendium of Timeless Tools for the Modern Writer” – a comprehensive catalog of writing resources.

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This entry was posted on December 20, 2015 by in Creative Process, Rewriting and tagged , , .
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