... ego-defence avatars

Updated: Mar 14



Carl Jung had the idea that we are born whole and then lose pieces of ourselves in the crucible of childhood…The main task of midlife, Jung thought, was to weather the crisis that arises from this experience of loss and become a whole, integrated person again.

– Eric Maisel


The Ego is a wounded inner-child (energy) that used whatever means possible to survive the abandonment, neglect and trauma of childhood. Our naive inner-child formulated various strategies to endure the pain of being helpless in an oppressive, toxic patriarchal pedagogy and dysfunctional environment.


  • Acting out/in - use actions to express unacceptable feelings and thoughts


  • Denial - reject a painful, unacceptable and unbearable reality.


  • Displacement - taking feelings out on a neutral (weaker) 3rd party.


  • Dissociation - momentarily loss of connection to the world around, cope with 'removing' oneself from unbearable circumstances.


  • Compensation - overachieve in one area to compensate for failures in other areas.


  • Passive aggression - an expression of angry feelings in a non-confrontational way


  • Intellectualization - avoid thinking about the stressful, emotional aspect of the situation by a focus only on the intellectual component in a cold, clinical way.


  • Rationalization - making excuses to avoid the real reason for actions or to avoid self-blame


  • Projection - attributing unacceptable internal feelings to an external source


  • Reaction formation – reducing anxiety by taking up the opposite (of internal belief) feeling, impulse, or behaviour


  • Regression - returning to coping strategies of childhood.


  • Repression – unaware, unconsciously, unknowingly expelling painful/distressing thoughts from consciousness.


  • Sublimation - replacing an unacceptable action with a more acceptable action


  • Identification - imitating/patterning behavior (good/bad) of a parent/someone whom we idolize


  • Splitting - belief that people are either all good or all bad


  • Fixation - "stuck" in an earlier developmental stage


  • Conversion - a transformation of unacceptable/repressed impulses or thoughts into physical complaints


  • Isolation - separation of emotion from events or ideas


  • Ritual & Undoing - undo unacceptable behaviour by masking it with a positive act or ritual.





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