ATTACK MECHANISMS IN PSYCHOLOGY – MECANISMOS DE ATAQUE EN PSICOLOGIA

ATTACK AND DEFENSE MECHANISMS IN PSYCHOLOGY

MECANISMOS DE ATAQUE PSICOLOGICOS

 

FRANCISCO MELE
Basic psychopathology
Publication of 16 April 2012
THE PERSONAL WEAPON ARSENAL
Traduzione di Paola Costa
In the following pages we will develop some concepts that will be treated in greater detail in the following chapters, which are a continuation of “My Dear Enemy: the Daily War in Families and institutions” for a project on the analysis of interpersonal conflicts. Why do we consider defense mechanism and forget attack mechanisms? If someone defends himself it is because someone else attacks. Attack and Defense mechanisms should be read in the framework of the theory of interpersonal polemology.
Psycho-pathology bases its premises on descriptions of clinical frameworks based on defense types that predominate in one of the other case. In a neurotic context what predominates are removal, reactive formation, displacement and condensation, rationalization or intellectualization. In cases of serious personality troubles, one sees scission, projection, idealization, if not denial and the rupture between the self and the reality principle.
Why does one consider defense mechanisms and forget attack mechanisms? If someone defends himself it is because someone else attacks. In the field of biology, one studies both the mechanisms of pathogenic agents which attack the immune system of a subject, and the defense mechanisms that an organism puts into action to protect its own integrity. In the field of psychology it is more difficult to distinguish attack from defense mechanisms.
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