Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Exposing a Defense Mechanism

(This blog was previously posted on December 13, 2016)

Photo by Rick Hustead

According to Hypnosis Motivation Institute founder John Kappas, Ph.D., even though the behaviors are manifested consciously, defense mechanisms only operate on a subconscious level. These subconscious devices are designed to “protect” a person from the basic concepts, morals or other things that individual has learned and deemed undesirable. An important feature of a defense mechanism is that it interferes with, prevents or inhibits the person from functioning normally.

Types of defense mechanisms include: compensation, conversion, denial, displacement, dissociation, fantasy, negativism, projection, intellectualization/rationalization, reaction formation, repression, sublimation and undoing. Society even rewards some defense mechanisms such as working hard (but sacrificing family time) to have a career.

The most effective way to deal with a defense mechanism is on the subconscious level: i.e., in hypnosis, Dr. Kappas advised. The hypnotherapist must keep in mind that repression will already be in place as it is an essential component for all defense mechanisms to function. Therefore, it is important to work with the client’s subconscious mind to recognize, acknowledge and accept that a defense mechanism exists and is in place. Finally, the hypnotherapist must help the client create and learn a new subconscious mental script to change those old behavioral patterns, he said.

“If you don’t spot a defense mechanism in regular (cognitive) therapy, use corrective therapy to reveal it,” Dr. Kappas advised.

Sara R. Fogan, C.Ht. is a certified hypnotherapist based in Southern California. She graduated with honors from the Hypnosis Motivation Institute in 2005. For more information about Calminsense Hypnotherapy® and to set up an appointment, please visit http://www.calminsensehypnotherapy.com/.
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