Even though I've been in psychodynamic psychotherapy and thought I understood about defenses, I find this book extremely helpful. The way Dr. Burgo explains the defenses is clear, and not full of jargon. His examples from life or from movies or TV are so recognizable that it really helps me remember "Hey, something's probably going on here," when I hit certain situations or interactions in my life. The other thing that seems so important in what he says is that defenses are against pain. May seem obvious, but often when I realize I'm doing something defensive, I end up feeling like I'm "bad," or like I should be "over it" already. The reminder in this book that it's about pain, and the fear that the pain might not be bearable, helps me be kinder to myself, have more self respect for my efforts, and keep trying. Also, the discussion about shame and early life damage really hits home and describes ways I've felt but not understood before."