Category Archives: Community

Defense Mechanisms and Coping Skills

Defense Mechanisms and Coping Skills

Coping skills can take many forms and help us make sense of our experiences, mitigate stress, and sustain our sense of self-worth. Sometimes life can feel pretty overwhelming. Without these strategies for managing life’s stressors and sustaining a sense of emotional well-being, it would be difficult to navigate even the simplest daily challenges.

What happens when our coping strategies don’t work?

In the absence of effective coping skills, defense mechanisms instinctively surface to protect us. While coping skills are viewed as positive actions that help us address life’s stressors, defense mechanisms reflect a more primitive effort at emotional self-defense. Some common coping strategies are exercise, meditation, journaling, prayer, social interaction, and creative expression through art or music. By contrast, denial, regression, projection, repression, rationalization, and acting-out are some examples of common defense mechanisms.

In our efforts to decrease counterproductive defense mechanisms and increase healthy coping skills, it’s important to appreciate that defense mechanisms are simply coping strategies of last resort. Although toxic, dangerous, and self-defeating, they serve as coping strategies nonetheless. While we don’t want to encourage self-defeating behavior, understanding the need that prompted it is essential to developing empathy and fostering healthier coping skills.

Do your coping skills enable you to effectively engage with the world around you or do you find yourself repeating self-defeating patterns of behavior?

In the weeks ahead, I’ll talk about some of the more common defense mechanisms and the ways they may show up in our daily lives.

Jill Howgate
jhowgate@growcounseling.com

Party Survival Skills for the Socially Anxious

Party Survival Skills for the Socially Anxious

For many people, parties are a highlight of the holiday season. But for those who are socially anxious, holiday parties can be nothing short of torturous. Resolving social anxiety exceeds the scope of a blog post, but in the meantime, here are some quick tips for surviving all the festivities. Set yourself up for success…

The Post Holiday Blues

The Post Holiday Blues

For many parents, the Christmas holiday is a time that they can see their family again. They can have all their children under one roof and operate happily amidst all the noise that was so familiar when the kids were growing up. But then the holiday hustle and bustle stop, the adult children have gone…

The Promise of the Holiday Season

The Promise of the Holiday Season

In a world consumed with commercialism, it can be easy to lose sight of what the holiday season is really about. We tend to focus on superficial aspects of life and then fall hard when those things crumble before our eyes. Delicious food, presents, and lots of laughs are part of the holiday season, but…

GROW Counseling Office Locations
2964 Peachtree Road, Suite 760 - Atlanta GA 30305
4411 Suwanee Dam Road, Suite 310 - Suwanee GA 30024
200 Westpark Drive, Suite 130 - Peachtree City GA 30269

Contact
Call: 404.345.4149 
Email: info@growcounseling.com