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Psychodynamic theory does not conceptualize motivated unconscious defenses primarily in terms of individual traits. Rather, a person's mechanisms of defense are understood in terms of his or her personality structure and level of psychological development. This paper outlines the way in which this perspective has been integrated into a configural approach to personality assessment. The six-group typology based on the Weinberger Adjustment Inventory (WAI) identifies higher-order personality organization through the intersection of self-reported high/low distress and high/moderate/low self-restraint. The framework incorporates a developmental perspective by assessing affect regulation in conjunction with the internalization of self-regulatory controls. The primary defenses of prototypic members of each of the six groups are highlighted, and hypothesized links to personality traits, stages of ego development, attachment styles, and proneness to specific personality disorders are discussed.