Anna Freud was the daughter of the founder of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud.
She was born in Vienna in 1895 – when her father’s radical theories of sex and the
mind were starting to make him famous across Europe. She became a school teacher and then
a psychoanalyst – and pioneered the treatment of children, establishing clinics and nurseries
for children who were war victims, survivors of the holocaust or just generally troubled
by their lives.
Perhaps most importantly for us, she is our finest guide to what we call
which she described best in her 1936 book The Ego and Mechanisms of Defence.
The book laid out for the first time the core idea that we instinctively try to protect
our ‘ego’ (our acceptable picture of who we are) with a variety of defences.
The problem is that in the act of defending ourselves against pain in the immediate term,
we harm our longer-term chances of dealing with reality and therefore of developing and
maturing as a result.
Anna Freud highlighted ten key types of defence mechanisms.
Denial is when we don’t admit there is a problem. We think things like: ‘I enjoy
喝酒 有时候会严重宿醉 但我能处理得了”
drinking very much and I sometimes get quite bad hangovers. But I can handle it.’
If other people try to get us to face up to the problem, we tend to react very badly. The
immediate survival mechanism, the short term instinct to feel alright about oneself,
means refusing to recognise our need for change.
通过投射 你将你的坏情绪归于别人身上 比如说
In projection, you attribute a bad feeling you have in someone else. For example, you
也许你会产生出这样一种印象是 如果你今年没有去年赚得多 你的另一半会
might develop the impression that your partner is going to be extremely critical if you don’t
make more money this year than last. But in reality they may be quite understanding and
有同情心 这种苛责尖刻的思想其实不在你另一半身上 而在于你——
sympathetic. The harsh, bitter thoughts are not in your partner. They are in you – and
这么说吧 它们来自你母亲 但是你把你不想承认的原因在自己的负面情绪
they came from, let’s say, your mother. But you have given the negative feelings,
which you don’t want to recognise in yourself, to someone else. That’s projection.
Turning against the self
This is when we think badly of ourselves as a way of escaping from an even worse thought:
that someone we hope loves us doesn’t actually.
Anna Freud learnt that children do this a lot. A child abused by a parent will typically
都会觉得其他选择或许更差 以此想法作为逃避 尽管很残忍
seek refuge in a thought which, though grim, is less awful than the alternatives. He or
她会想: 一定是我太差太没用 所以我父母才如此对待我
she will think: I must be bad and worthless – that’s why my parent is behaving this
她继续想: 所以 我父母依旧是很好的
way towards me. So, really – the thought goes – I still have a good parent.
当然 自我认为差劲或者毫无用处是件痛苦的事 但尤其对于一个孩子来说
It’s painful to think we’re bad and worthless, of course – but for a fragile child especially,
它比其他可能的想法显得不那么具有毁灭性 这种想法就是: 我们被掌控在
it can feel less catastrophic than the alternative: thinking we’re in the hands of a parent
who doesn’t care.
We sublimate when we redirect unacceptable thoughts or emotions – often about sex or
暴力时 我们升华至更高更好的通道 许多艺术家和音乐节
violence – into ‘higher’ and finer channels. Many artists and especially musicians have
used sublimation to turn negative life experiences like – drug addiction, social ills, family problems, and
so on—into popular and resonant works of art. Sublimation is still a defence mechanism,
but it’s one of the very best.
安娜·弗洛伊德相信 当处境变得艰难时 我们常常会退行到
Anna Freud believed that when things become tough, we often regress to a way of behaving
我们年少时的行为方式 尤其是 我们会像孩子一样处事
that we practiced when we were a younger. In particular, we do what children typically
do, which is evade responsibility. It is – for the child – always someone else’s fault,
usually the parents – and they should put it right.
IN regression, we adopt an infantile sense of our own purity and innocence: the rest
其他人才应该被责难 别人才应该负责解决问题 对于安娜来说
of the world is to blame. They should sort it out. For Anna Freud, it’s normal for
many otherwise perfectly sane adults to go through regressive moments when under pressure.
It only becomes a problem when it goes on too long.
Rationalisation is a smart sounding excuse
for our actions (or what happens to us). But it’s carefully tailored to get the conclusion
we feel we need: that we are innocent, nice, worthy. After being rejected for a job, for
防御型合理化自我的人会说: “这个公司真没劲” 或
example, the defensive rationaliser will say: “it was a boring company” or “I never
wanted the job anyway”. They may have very much desired the job,
but it can be agonising and deeply humiliating to admit this to the ego.
Intellectualisation is similar. The scarring
sense of loss, guilt, betrayal and anger on breaking up with a partner might be neutralised
by thinking about the history of the late Roman Empire or the government’s plan to
raise interest rates. Many intellectuals are not merely thinking a lot. They are also guilty
of ‘intellectualisation’; which means making sure their researches
keep a range of more pertinent issues at bay.
Reaction formation involves doing the opposite of our initial, unacceptable feelings. Someone
who has a strong interest in the sexuality of teenagers may, for instance, join a religion
with a particular emphasis on abstinence among the young.
We are often guilty of reaction formation in childhood. When we are embarrassed about
被一个同学吸引而感到尴尬时 我们或许会变得对他们有攻击性 而不是
being attracted to a classmate, we might be mean or aggressive towards them, instead of
admitting that we like them.
Displacement is the redirection of a (usually aggressive) desire to a substitute recipient,
usually someone who is less threatening or easier to blame. So a classic case is someone
who may feel threatened by their boss, comes home and starts shouting at their partner.
Fantasy avoids problems by imagining them
away or disassociating oneself from reality—from daydreaming to reading literature to looking
at porn. We use these moments to transport ourselves from the threatening world to find
comfort elsewhere. ***
Anna Freud’s tone when writing about defence mechanisms is tender and generous.
She knows these defences are quite natural, but she also observes how many difficulties they
给我们带来的困难 它们阻碍了我们的事业 让别人觉得无聊 以及伤害那些爱我们的人
bring in their wake. They hold back our careers, are boring for others and hurt those who love us.
Freud argued that most of us employ at least
5 of her 10 defence mechanisms every day – without being in any way aware of it.
She wrote her great book as a way of helping us see a little better what we’re doing,
in the hope that we would, in future, be a little more mature and a little less – as
we still say in unknowing tribute to her —defensive towards those around us.
精神疗法 | 安娜·弗洛伊德