EFFECTIVE psychological adaptation requires the availability to a person of various defensive operations that assist him to control his ideation and integrate his affective experiences in a stable and consistent manner. Defensive operations viewed in this way are not pathologic phenomena but rather define a person's life style, that is, the particular compromises he has worked out between his needs and the limitations imposed on him by his behavioral standards, his environmental situation, and his mental and physical assets. When these operations falter, a person cannot prevent primitive, disrupting thoughts from impinging on his conscious awareness and is unable to integrate his emotional reactions in the service of a consistent response style.