Category Archives: Jill Howgate

Denial

Denial

One of our most primitive defense mechanisms is denial. Mark Twain perfectly captured the essence of denial when he quipped,

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

In effect, denial is an effort to avoid the pain or discomfort of reality by pretending it doesn’t exist.

It is the emotional manifestation of the ‘flight’ portion of ‘fight or flight’, the mind’s way of saying, “I don’t want to face what is being presented to me so I simply refuse to acknowledge that it exists.”

It isn’t difficult to spot denial in our day to day lives.

It’s at work in the parents who adamantly refuse to acknowledge any flaw in their child, regardless of feedback from teachers, coaches, peers, or even the child themselves. It’s present in the friends who won’t recognize the problem that alcohol or drugs are causing in their lives.

Although it may minimize emotional discomfort in the moment, living in denial also minimizes our ability to engage with the world around us, hinders healthy relationships, and compromises our credibility.

Jill Howgate
jhowgate@growcounseling.com

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…

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 Gift of Failure

The Gift of Failure

Parenthood sparks a powerful, instinctive drive to protect. But, in reality, we do our kids a disservice when we do not allow them the space and opportunity to make decisions with the potential outcome of failure. Like Clark Kent, we are transformed from mild-mannered, everyday people into Authority Figures, Responsible Parties…Tooth Fairies. Without a second thought…

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