Coping Defense Mechanisms

517 Words3 Pages
Coping and Defense Mechanisms
Gwen exhibits several different coping and defense mechanisms throughout rehab. Gwen deals with her life by drinking, smoking and abusing Vicodin. Schub (2016) states, “Women who abuse alcohol often drink as a coping mechanism for social problems, mood disorders, trauma and stress related disorder, and low self-esteem” (p. 1). Gwen displays denial, displacement, rationalization, and compensation as coping and defense techniques in her life. She is trying to cope with events and things in her life that her mind wants to protect her from.
While Gwen is in Cornell’s office discussing her night out with Jasper, Gwen is using denial. According to Townsend (2015), she is “refusing to acknowledge the existence of a real situation or the feelings associated with it” (p. 19). Gwen tells Cornell that she does not have a problem and if she really wanted to stop drinking, she could, but she does not see herself as having a problem. She feels that she can handle her life and is in control of all situations. She is avoiding dealing with painful feelings in her life that she
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She justifies her behavior because her mother acted the same way (Townsend, 2015). In the movie during one of Gwen’s flashbacks, the mother says, “If you aren’t having fun, what’s the point of living?” Gwen tries to repress the memories of her mother, but they kept resurfacing during therapy. Gwen is rationalizing by choosing to do something on an emotional basis. The partying and drinking boosted her self-esteem and made her feel good about herself. She believes her mom drank and had fun, so she can, too. She makes up reasons to justify her choice of continually drinking throughout the day and night to repress her anxiety of her negative feelings from her mom’s death. She wants to protect herself from anxiety, stress and protect her self-esteem by making her failure of alcohol and drug abuse her mother’s fault and not
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