DefendedEncountered while making flash cards--hadn't seen this elsewhere, but seems helpful (and wouldn't fit on a card)--Vaillant's Levels of Defense Mechanisms:

Level I - psychotic defences (i.e. psychotic denial, delusional projection)
Level II - immature defences (i.e. fantasy, projection, passive aggression, acting out)
Level III - neurotic defences (i.e. intellectualization, reaction formation, dissociation, displacement, repression)
Level IV - mature defences (i.e. humour, sublimation, suppression, altruism, anticipation)

While we're at it, some defense mechanism descriptions (same source):

Repression: when a feeling is hidden and forced from the consciousness to the unconscious because it is seen as socially unacceptable.
Regression: falling back into an early state of mental/physical development seen as "less demanding and safer."
Projection: possessing a feeling that is deemed as socially unacceptable and instead of facing it, that feeling or "unconscious urge" is seen in the actions of other people.
Reaction formation: acting the opposite way that the unconscious instructs a person to behave, "often exaggerated and obsessive". For example, if a wife is infatuated with a man who is not her husband, reaction formation may cause her to – rather than cheat – become obsessed with showing her husband signs of love and affection.
Sublimation: seen as the most acceptable of the mechanisms, an expression of anxiety in socially acceptable ways.

For visual learners, here's an animated walk through ten defense mechanisms from Psych2Go:

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March 1, 2009
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