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Understanding Defense Mechanisms


A. Mechelle Haywood, Psy.D., offers alternative strategies for dealing with discomfort and distress.

1 hour

Product Description


Defense mechanisms are behaviors we use to distance ourselves from unpleasant thoughts, events and actions. They can help protect us from stress and provide an outlet for difficult emotions. When overused, however, these behaviors can prevent us from facing reality and lead to unhealthy and even self-deceptive behaviors. A. Mechelle Haywood, Psy.D., explores how defense mechanisms impact our emotional and psychological health and offers alternative strategies for dealing with discomfort and distress.

Learning Outcomes

Participants will:

  1. Explore how defense mechanisms impact emotional and psychological well-being;
  2. Learn about common defense mechanisms and how they develop over time; and
  3. Identify practical strategies for recognizing defense mechanisms and developing healthier coping strategies.

Who Should Participate

Priests, deacons, men and women religious, lay ministers, and those involved in vocations, formation, or clergy and ministry personnel needs.

Reflection Questions

Questions for reflection and discussion prior to the learning session are provided below.

  1. What are my defense mechanisms? Are there certain situations that trigger them?
  2. How have my defense mechanisms protected me in the past?
  3. How do they impact me now?