affiliation: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by turning to others for help or support. This involves sharing problems with others but does not imply trying to make someone else responsible for them. altruism The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by dedication to meeting the needs of others. Unlike the self-sacrifice sometimes characteristic of reaction formation, the individual receives gratification either vicariously or from the response of others.

self-assertion: The individual deals with emotional conflict or stressor's by expressing his or her feelings and thoughts directly in a way that is not coercive or manipulative. self-observation: The individual deals with emotional conflict or stressor's by reflecting on his or her own thoughts, feelings, motivation, and behavior, and responding appropriately. sublimation: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by channeling potentially maladaptive feelings or impulses into socially acceptable behavior (e. g. , contact sports to channel angry impulses). suppression: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by intentionally avoiding thinking about disturbing problems, wishes, feelings, or experiences.

Mental inhibitions level. Defensive functioning at this level keeps potentially threatening ideas, feelings, memories, wishes, or fears out of awareness. Examples are: displacement: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by transferring a feeling about, or a response to, one object onto another (usually less threatening) substitute object. dissociation: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's with a breakdown in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, perception of self or the environment, or sensory / motor behavior.

intellectualization: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by the excessive use of abstract thinking or the making of generalizations to control or minimize disturbing feelings. reaction formation: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by substituting behavior, thoughts, or feelings that are diametrically opposed to his or her own unacceptable thoughts or feelings (this usually occurs in conjunction with their repression). repression: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by expelling disturbing wishes, thoughts, or experiences from conscious awareness. The feeling component may remain conscious, detached from its associated ideas. Minor image-distorting level. This level is characterized by distortions in the image of the self, body, or others that may be employed to regulate self-esteem.

Examples are: devaluation: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by attributing exaggerated negative qualities to self or others. idealization: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by attributing exaggerated positive qualities to others. Disavowal level. This level is characterized by keeping unpleasant or unacceptable stressor's, impulses, ideas, affects, or responsibility out of awareness with or without a mis attribution of these to external causes. Examples are: denial: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by refusing to acknowledge some painful aspect of external reality or subjective experience that would be apparent to others.

The term psychotic denial is used when there is gross impairment in reality testing. projection: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by falsely attributing to another his or her own unacceptable feelings, impulses, or thoughts. rationalization: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by concealing the true motivations for his or her own thoughts, actions, or feelings through the elaboration of reassuring or self-serving but incorrect explanations. Action level. This level is characterized by defensive functioning that deals with internal or external stressor's by action or withdrawal. Examples are: acting out: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by actions rather than reflections or feelings.

This definition is broader than the original concept of the acting out of transference feelings or wishes during psychotherapy and is intended to include behavior arising both within and outside the transference relationship. Defensive acting out is not synonymous with 'bad behavior' because it requires evidence that the behavior is related to emotional conflicts. passive aggression: The individual deals with emotional conflict or internal or external stressor's by indirectly and un assertively expressing aggression toward others. There is a facade of overt compliance masking covert resistance, resentment, or hostility. Passive aggression often occurs in response to demands for independent action or performance or the lack of gratification of dependent wishes but may be adaptive for individuals in subordinate positions who have no other way to express assertiveness more overtly.