Prison Pete

Wednesday, August 10, 2005
  Defense Mechanisms.
Defense Mechanisms are ways people avoid dealing with truth and reality. When you become defensive, you are unable to recognize your problems and you have a harder time accepting that you need help. When you don't accept your need for treatment, your involvement in the program is superficial and you are likely to feel scared of being inadequate and unable to trust anyone.

Common examples of defense mechanisms are:

RATIONALIZATION. When you rationalize, you make excuses and justify your behavior even though you know what you are doing is wrong.

INTELLECTUALIZATION. When you intellectualize something, you are avoiding reality by trying to explain it away by using abstraction or theorizing. You avoid dealing with real issues and emotions and try to make something sound okay even though it may be wrong.

DENIAL. Denial is when you refuse to admit the truth about your crime or the problems you have. Denial is very common. Denial, simply put, is not admitting the truth. Denial has many levels.

RELIGIOSITY. Many inmates become overly religious after they are caught. We encourage you to develop the spiritual side of your life. True spirituality supports your being responsible in your life. Religiosity is using your religion or spirituality to avoid being responsible. Some inmates use their religion wrongly, making it an excuse not to involve themselves in treatment. They make statements such as, "I don't need treatment because I have been forgiven." Religion is not a crutch to avoid dealing with real life issues and problems, but is an aid and comfort to help you face reality. Use your spirituality wisely so that your treatment will work with your religion and your religion will be supported by your treatment.
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