defense One way to anticipate what may appear on the social work licensing exam is to think what you might write as a question if the task fell to you. Of all the potential material that could be on the test , what lends itself to clear, relevant exam items? Certainly vignettes probing Code of Ethics knowledge would be on the short list. Diagnostic questions too. And also questions pulling from the greatest hits of psych knowledge. Which may in not too long lead you (the hypothetical exam item writer) to generate a question or two about defense mechanisms.

Defense mechanisms have the allure of being both an ancient offering (by psych standards) and having entered common parlance. "You're in denial"..."You're being passive aggressive"..."You're projecting." People use them all the time, though not always correctly. As you prep for the exam, it's worth taking a moment to get them sorted out and understood. Don't be in denial--a defense mechanism question could help you get those crucial points you need to pass.

There's no need to rehearse the list of defense mechanisms here. Plenty of people have written them up in detail around the web. Here are some choice places to brush up:

Once you've done some review, consider testing your knowledge with this Defense Mechanism Quiz. Done that? Congratulations, you're not in denial anymore. You're ready to face down defense mechanism questions on the exam. Good luck!


For realistic, licensing exam-style questions about defense mechanisms and a while lot more, sign up for SWTP practice exams!

June 18, 2014
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