At times, defense mechanisms can be healthy when they do not interfere with an individual’s work or personal life. However, the reality is that these defense mechanisms can often cause problems that need to be addressed. Once an individual can unravel and work through situations, they become less painful and can genuinely feel happy.
The ultimate goal of the psychodynamic approach is to find relief caused by psychological pain. The individual is to become self-aware and recognize how much influence the past has on current behavior.
Linking current behavior to past events can take time, and a therapist could examine the following:
- The degree to which the individual is aware of or comfortable with his or her feelings
- Any feelings the individual has but doesn’t know about or understand
- How deep the psyche negative feelings are buried
- The physical or psychological effects from buried feelings