Masterclass ‘Defences and coaching’


People have many mechanisms to protect themselves from difficult or painful experiences. They are creative when it comes to finding ways of avoiding what they do not want to know and what they do not want to see. In psychoanalysis this is called ‘defences’.

What do people avoid? Unacceptable feelings, thoughts, fantasies, but also unwelcome aspects of reality. These aspects avoided often evoke feelings of anxiety and confusion, which is why they are avoided. Often the defence mechanism is subconscious, everyone has blind spots, they are often easier for others to identify.

In theory, defences are healthy and necessary, but it can also distort reality and relationships. For example, if the defence mechanism becomes one-sided, or too ‘primitive’.

Of course, defences are ubiquitous so also experienced in coaching relationships or other professional relationships. It is useful being able to recognise defences and also to decide what you can or cannot do about it. What do defences look like? How do defensive mechanisms develop from a young age?

This masterclass focuses on getting an insight into what defences are, how they develop, from primitive, to neurotic and mature defence mechanisms. Get insight and practise handling dysfunctional defences.