Addressing cognitive defenses in critical incident stress



While it is presumed that public safety workers have always used cognitive defenses to cope with traumatic experiences, this process has lacked systematic study. The author asserts that the use of ego defenses is common, necessary for daily functioning and not necessarily pathonomic or in need of therapeutic confrontation. This article makes an attempt to organize some of the literature in the area, raise questions that need to be studied, and argue strongly for future research.