Psychology: Defense Mechanisms & Avoiding Stress

Teach your psychology class about defense mechanisms with this content-rich, mini lesson. Sigmund Freud believed that in order to deal with conflict in life, an individual’s ego puts up various defense mechanisms to ward off undesired stress. So what are the various tactics that we as individuals use to avoid conflict and undesired scenarios? This lessons is definitely “on-point” and will give your class the important understandings of the 8 major defense mechanisms. The best part is that there is no prep for you, except downloading and printing! Enjoy and if you have time, I’d appreciate your feedback and rating!

What’s Included:
• Step by step guide in how to conduct and lead this mini-lesson.
• A link to an online text for students to read about the various defense mechanisms
• PowerPoint set of notes for whole group instruction that includes a definition and example of the 8 major defense mechanisms.
• Follow up activity for student engagement and reinforcement.
• 16 question worksheet to use for assessing student understanding. This worksheet has 16 different scenarios that students will have to match with the appropriate defense mechanism. (For example: _________ After he is disciplined by his parents, Mikey tends to bully and tease his younger brother and sister.) Answer key is included.

The 8 defense mechanisms studied are: denial, regression, repression, sublimation, reaction formation, rationalization, projection, and displacement.



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  • defensemechanisms.pdf
  • defensemechanisms.pptx

About this resource


Created: Nov 24, 2016

Updated: Feb 22, 2018


pdf, 5 MB



pptx, 3 MB


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