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Psychological Defense Mechanisms & Art Therapy

  • Broadcast in Psychology
Dr Daniel Sadigh

Dr Daniel Sadigh


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The way we protect ourselves from things that we don't want to think about or deal with is called a defense mechanism. This term worked its way into everyday language from Freudian psychoanalytical theory and we commonly refer to different kinds of it to describe feeling states. Think of the last time you referred to someone as being "in denial", accused someone of "rationalizing", or asking someone not to “project” their stuff on you.  Some of these states are often confused with coping strategies which are generally the adaptive or constructive solutions for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Often, the simple process of drawing and artistic interpretations can reveal the defense mechanism and, help organize, process and heal traumas. By using images and symbols, the client is often able to tap into deeper and often hidden material that has been disguised through behavioral or verbal defenses. Images mirror developmental and cognitive development.

Join Dr. Sadigh and her colleague Mrs. Parisa Amirmostofian to find out how dreams, thoughts and communication begin with images. Once images are translated to words we can assess levels of emotional and cognitive functioning, strengths, and defense mechanisms. Expression of natural creative intelligence can lead to relief of depression, stress and anxiety.
Mrs. Parisa Amirmostofian is a Marriage and Family Therapist Intern with over thirty years of artistic training; several years of experience as a mid-wife, working with hospital settings in two continents; research in abnormalities of sperms; investigating hormonal correlations in breast cancer; and working as a life-coach/art therapist in Los Angeles. Parisa graduated from Loyola Marymount University and practices at the Wheel of Wellbeing