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In psychoanalytic theory isolation is a defense mechanism in which there is an unconscious seperation of an unacceptable act or idea from its memory. This removes any emotional association from the memory which means it can no longer trigger anxiety.

See alsoEdit

References & BibliographyEdit

Key textsEdit


  • Davies, W. H., & Garwood, M. M. (2001). Who are the perpetrators and why do they do it? Binghamton, NY: Haworth Maltreatment and Trauma Press/The Haworth Press.
  • Firestone, R. W., & Catlett, J. (1986). Withholding. New York, NY: Human Sciences Press.


  • Asdourian, D. (1967). Object Attachment and the Critical Period: Psychonomic Science Vol 7(7) 1967, 235-236.
  • Baumeister, R. F., Dale, K., & Sommer, K. L. (1998). Freudian defense mechanisms and empirical findings in modern social psychology: Reaction formation, projection, displacement, undoing, isolation, sublimation, and denial: Journal of Personality Vol 66(6) Dec 1998, 1081-1124.
  • Berezin, M. A. (1980). Intrapsychic isolation in the elderly: Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry Vol 13(1) 1980, 5-18.
  • Bjorklund, F. (2000). Defense mechanisms and morality: A link between isolation and moralization: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology Vol 41(1) Mar 2000, 55-61.
  • Blackburn, R. (1979). Psychopathy and personality: The dimensionality of self-report and behaviour rating data in abnormal offenders: British Journal of Social & Clinical Psychology Vol 18(1) Feb 1979, 111-119.
  • Braceland, F. (1967). Psychological Analysis of Solitude: Actas Luso-Espanolas de Neurologia y Psiquiatria 26(1) 1967, 12-23.
  • Caviglia, G., Crisi, A., Azzoni, A., Mazza, S., & et al. (1990). The mechanisms of repression and isolation in multiple sclerosis as regulators of personality system: A clinical study: Schweizer Archiv fur Neurologie und Psychiatrie Vol 141(3) 1990, 209-215.
  • Diatkine, G. (1990). What does the inability to associate mean? : Revue Francaise de Psychanalyse Vol 54(2) Mar-Apr 1990, 365-376.
  • Freedman, D. A., & Brown, S. L. (1968). On the Role of Coenesthetic Stimulation in the Development of Psychic Structure: Psychoanalytic Quarterly 37(3) 1968, 418-438.
  • Groisman, M. (1979). Psychoanalytic therapy: Mutual understanding: Revista Brasileira de Psicanalise Vol 13(4) 1979, 459-466.
  • Henningsen, F. (1990). Psychic trauma, psychic reality: Zeitschrift fur Psychoanalytische Theorie und Praxis Vol 5(3) 1990, 204-227.
  • Kincaid, J. E. (1981). Isolation, repression, and the differential activation of the cerebral hemispheres: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • Myerson, P. G. (1980). Discussion:"Intrapsychic isolation in the elderly." Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry Vol 13(1) 1980, 19-25.
  • Rubino, I. A., Sonnino, A., & Tonini, G. (1992). Perceptual strategies of isolation in obsessive-compulsive personality disorder: Perceptual and Motor Skills Vol 74(3, Pt 1) Jun 1992, 979-992.
  • Szuster-Zbrojewicz, A. (1989). Cognitive isolation of self and the asymmetry phenomenon in we others distance assessment: Studia Psychologiczne Vol 27(2) 1989, 55-71.

Additional materialEdit



  • Google Scholar
  • Pacherie, E., Bayne, T., & Marraffa, M. (2004). The empirical approach to delirium: A clarification and a defense: Sistemi Intelligenti Vol 16(2) Aug 2004, 223-236.


  • Korol, J. A. (1998). Confluence, isolation and contact in psychotherapy with clients who dissociate: Transactional Analysis Journal Vol 28(2) Apr 1998, 111-120.
  • Lowenherz, L. (1967). Cognitive Level as a Function of Defensive Isolation: Dissertation Abstracts International.
  • O'Neill, K. C. (2000). A psychoanalytic and neuropsychological approach to repression and isolation. Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering.

External linksEdit

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