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Defense Mechanisms: Projection, Intellectualization, Compensation, and Repression

Updated on November 3, 2011

Defense Mechanism as pioneered by Sigmund Freud theorized that to deal with undesired emotions and impulsiveness, the self uses various coping mechanism in defense of these unwanted thoughts and feelings (Stratton, 2008). On the youtube clip, the client was using projection, intellectualization, compensation, and repression as his coping mechanism (Rochlen & Huk, n.d.). Projection is when you rationalize a specific emotion based on the attributed feeling you attach to someone else (, 2006). Thus, the patient’s hostility and ill-feelings towards his family, particularly among his friends is because of their ‘stupidness.’ Another defense mechanism used by the patient is intellectualization and compensation which is evident when he suggests that he does not need nor care about his family and friends because he already is excelling in school and maintaining good grades, he focused on his high GPA and not needing emotional support to attain it. He compensates the lack of emotional support by focusing on his studies. Intellectualization comes in when the client is very calculative of his needs, leaning towards the tangible and the quantifiable things that give him immediate benefits like his education.

From my own experience, I tend to use compensation and repression when dealing and in handling stressful situations in my life. I tend to repress all of my perceived negative experiences to be able to cope up with them. This is especially true for my unwanted childhood experiences that I would not rather remember. As I think of it now, when I don’t think about them, I get the feeling that it did not happen, thus helping me to move forward and not dwell about the past. Another  is compensation which I used to rationalize my shortcommings with my streghts. For instance, I would sometimes compensate my average school performance with my excellent performance in sports.


Rochlen, A., & Huk, A. (Directors). (n.d.). Mechanisms of Defense. Katie and Andrea [Motion Picture]. Retrieved from

Stratton, J. M. (2008). Sigmund Freud: Defense Mechanisms. Retrieved from (2006). Defense Mechanisms. Retrieved from





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      imranhaider 6 years ago

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