This list is not comprehensive but instead offers an overview of the most common defense mechanisms.
Repression – is the most basic of all defense mechanisms, repression occurs when the drives of the id are forced into the unconscious and denied by the individual
Regression – occurs when a person retreats to a safer earlier stage of development
Projection – happens when a person attributes their own unacceptable needs and drives onto another person.
Reaction Formation – occurs when a person avoids a particular instinct by expressing its opposite.
Displacement – is the transfer of an instinctual drive from one target to a less threatening target.
Sublimation – is the acting out of a socially acceptable behavior as a direct reaction to the drive to do something unacceptable
Denial – is the admission of socially unacceptable impulses joined with the inability to attribute them to oneself
Introjection – is the ascribing of another’s thoughts and behaviors to the self in order to better control one’s own thoughts and behaviors.
Rationalization – is the interpretation of behaviors in a manner that makes them appear more rational or logical
Fixation – is the arresting of libidinal energy in an unresolved conflict
Undoing – is the repetition of a behavior in order to undo the effects of a past action.