Denial in Psychology- Are You Using This Defence Mechanism? – Harley Therapy™ Blog


Denial in Psychology- Are You Using This Defence Mechanism?Last reviewed by Sheri JacobsonJuly 12, 2018Anxiety & stress, Counselling By: Alastair Gilfillan Denial in psychology originates from  psychoanalytic theory and its ideas about ‘defence mechanisms‘. What are defence mechanisms? Defence mechanisms are unconscious forms of self-deception we use to avoid anxiety and emotional pain, or to ensure we are ‘acceptable’ to others. Denial is a very popular defence mechanism. It is when we act as if an event, a thought, or an emotion never happened. We do this even if there is obvious evidence that it did, and often protest the opposite. An example is when we cry all the time but then tell everyone we aren’t sad. Or when we are sick every morning from drinking the night before but say we are not an alcoholic. Denial is connected to other defence mechanisms. These include repression (banning stressful things from our memories) and projection (refusing responsibility for thoughts, feelings and actions by attributing then to someone else). [Is your habit of denial making your life a mess? Really wish someone could help? Visit our sister site to book phone and Skype counselling easily and quickly, worldwide.] So if someone I know won’t see the truth, they are in denial? It would be easy here to say denial is about denying ‘the truth’. But ‘truth’ is actually a perspective. If two people, for example, at the same meal, one might say it was amazing, the other that it was terrible. So denial is more about avoiding facts and outcomes. It would be denying that the meal was caloric and might lead to weight gain, or claiming, even against strict doctors orders against its ingredients, that ‘it can’t hurt’.  But aren’t we all in denial? By: Duncan Hull 🐝 As a Western society we practise mass denial. We live our lives as if all is fine when we are taking actions that damage the environment and when other countries are at war. This article, however, focuses on personal denial over societal denial. The different forms of denial in psychology In its purest form of ‘simple denial’ , the process of denial is unconscious. The person using denial really has convinced themselves of the opposite to what the facts say and what everyone else tells them. They have ‘turned a blind eye’, as the saying goes. An example of simple denial would be the partner of an alcoholic who truly

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