Yan Chaplak
Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
Yaroslava Andreeva
Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
Halyna Chuyko
Yuriy Fedkovych Chernivtsi National University
PDF 36-56 (Українська)


psychical defense
psychological defense mechanism
socio-psychological adaptation
internal self-regulation
misrepresenting of information

How to Cite





The article analyses theoretically the phenomena of mental defense mechanisms and coping in psychology, their importance for self-regulation and an individual’s socio-psychological adaptation.

The examined problem is not entirely new, but the huge number of scientific works indicates its importance, immensity, interest for scientists and absence of its final solution.

The study of mental defenses and coping strategies, their features and main types, which number is still increasing, continues since the time when S. Freud introduced the "mental defense" concept into science and A. Freud described the main defense psyche mechanisms (as for coping strategies, the works started from its interpretation by R. Lazarus and S. Folkman), however, their generalized understanding is absent today, so their further analysis is needed.

An individual’s mental defense is understood as a system of mental mechanisms protecting him/her from negative and psycho-traumatic emotions and feelings caused by different life difficulties, problems and various conflicts that lead to a crisis in self-acceptance and self-respect because of changed perceptions or attitudes to anxious events and situations; thus the received information is transformed and a pseudo-reality is created in order to weaken destructive influence of the reality on the individual’s social and psychological adaptation and the stability of their internal regulation; and coping as a process of relatively long-term conscious overcoming by the individual of the impacts of psychologically traumatic situations or events; such process copes with the problem / threat causing the psychological trauma.

We stress that, on the background of scientists’ constant, long-term attempts to distinguish the concepts of mental defense and coping and to find out which of them is more general, we focus on their common characteristics: 1) they help an individual to adapt to the problematic situation and save their mental well-being; 2) they may have a complex structure, shape styles and strategies (defense and coping) as a system combining the interrelated protection or coping mechanisms. However, we consider the psychic defense mechanisms and coping are situational in their essence: their effective application in one situation does not mean their similar effectiveness in another; but a choice of coping strategies and mental defenses depends on a particular individual.

Even taking into account the obvious difference between coping and mental defense mechanisms, we conclude that they are related mental phenomena and are combined into a certain systemic integrity in order to restore an individual’s mental balance and socio-psychological adaptation by the way inherent for the each examined phenomenon.


PDF 36-56 (Українська)


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