Whats the word. ..

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by odieoh, Jun 4, 2012.

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  1. odieoh

    odieoh Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    I'm doing some writing and I'm trying to remember a word that is used to describe when someone has a negative experience but uses it as motivation and turns it into something positive-- ie someone is very angry about something and instead of doing something negative they go to the gym and have an intense workout.

    I remember there being a specific word for this kind of thing and I remember it came up on my psych rotations but I can't remember what it is for the life of me.
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  3. Abider


    Mar 7, 2012
  4. nitemagi

    nitemagi Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Reaction formation (if referring to unwanted feelings or impulses).

    Undoing (if referring to an unwanted act).
  5. sunlioness

    sunlioness Fierce. Proud. Strong 10+ Year Member

    Feb 23, 2007
    I really want to say that the bird is the word, but I think "sublimation" is probably what you're after. :)
  6. odieoh

    odieoh Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2003
    Yeah I guess sublimation is it. Its not what I remember but it seems to be the correct one. Thanks all!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012
  7. strangeglove

    strangeglove 7+ Year Member

    Oct 28, 2006
    It all depends on the patient's awareness of why he is going to the gym. If he is doing it because he consciously knows it will help him feel less angry, then this is not really a "defense mechanism" in the typical sense of the word. Defense mechanisms are usually deployed unconsciously. Furthermore, the mode of sublimation usually has some relationship to the conflict in terms of its meaning. If the patient is going to the gym because he knows that it will help him feel less angry, it is more like an affect regulation strategy, which the patient may know how to do by himself, or which he may learn in psychotherapy, like in DBT.
  8. erg923

    erg923 Psychologist 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I agree, however, I would also like to argue that I thought EVERYBODY already knew that the the bird is the word...

    Uma uma mow mow!

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