A new book that should be of interest to meditators is now available online with open access Frontiers in psychology and frontiers in psychiatry:
“Recent empirical research and methodologies in defense mechanisms”
Edited by Mariagrazia Di Giuseppe, John Christopher Perry, Tracy A. Prout and Ciro Conversano
17 studies are presented, including:
“Defensive functioning moderates the effects of non-directive meditation”
Anne Grete Hersoug, Morten Wærsted and Bjørn Lau (2021). Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 629784; DOI: 10.3389 / fpsyg.2021.629784
In accordance with this studythose who practiced Acem meditation obtained a favorable combination of reducing defensive functioning and improving their stress-related problems, suggesting that reducing defensive functioning as well as stress problems can be achieved. with Acem meditation.
The new book explains how defense mechanisms affect our mental health, psychological well-being, and interpersonal functioning. In the face of stressful life events, we need defense mechanisms to deal with difficult emotional experiences. They can be triggered without our awareness and become part of our usual way of being in situations where we have little sense of control. Increased psychological stress is associated with increased use of defense mechanisms. Our way of experiencing stressful situations can sometimes make us less able to cope with discomfort, for example when we tend to be more concerned and with more inner convulsions. It is not always easy to see who is the source of the anxiety, whether it is ourselves or others. These negative experiences can disrupt our self-esteem in relation to others, both at work and in private.
The main goal of the book is to establish that there is a hierarchy of defense mechanisms, ranging from low-level and immature defenses to mature high-level defenses. The many forms and effects of defense mechanisms are described in detail. They work mainly outside of our consciousness. However, when we use mature defenses, we may be partially or fully aware of its activation. Sometimes, we can also use them intentionally as an adaptive strategy to deal with stressful situations (e.g., suppression). In contrast, less adaptive, more immature defenses represent automatic responses. It has been found that the maturity of defensive functioning increases with age. Thus, there is a positive development throughout adult life.
See previous blog post: Reducing Stress Linked to Lower Defense: New Study on Acem Meditation
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