Projective Identification

A fourth means of reducing anxiety is projective identification, a psychic defense mechanism in which infants split off unacceptable parts of themselves, project them onto another object, and finally introject them back into themselves in a changed or distorted form. By taking the object back into themselves, infants feel that they have become like that object; that is, they identify with that object. For example, infants typically split off parts of their destructive impulse and project them onto the bad, frustrating breast. Next, they identify with the breast by introjecting it, a process that permits them to gam control over the dreaded and wonderful breast.

Projective identification exerts a powerful influence on adult interpersonal relations. Unlike simple projection, which can exist wholly in fantasy, projective identification exists only in the world of real interpersonal relationships. For example, a husband with strong but unwanted tendencies to dominate others will project those feelings onto his wife, whom he then sees as domineering. The man subtly tries to get his wife to become domineering. He behaves with excessive submissiveness in an attempt to force his wife to display the very tendencies that he has deposited in her.

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How To Win Your War Against Anxiety Disorders

How To Win Your War Against Anxiety Disorders

Tips And Tricks For Relieving Anxiety... Fast Everyone feels anxious sometimes. Whether work is getting to us or we're simply having hard time managing all that we have to do, we can feel overwhelmed and worried that we might not be able to manage it all. When these feelings hit, we don't have to suffer. By taking some simple steps, you can begin to create a calmer attitude, one that not only helps you feel better, but one that allows you the chance to make better decisions about what you need to do next.

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