Sigmund Freud described a lot of everyday life in terms of different psychological strategies that we use to cope with the harsh realities of life, to protect ourselves from things we aren’t ready to deal with, and to keep these things from coming to the surface of consciousness. He called these strategies “defence mechanisms”. We are not aware of them because they operate mostly on an unconscious level.
Although Freud recognised the role of defence mechanisms in protecting the ego, it was his daughter, Anna Freud, who elaborated on them in her book “The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence.”
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