Book Definition: Gratifying sexual or aggressive desires in ways that are acceptable in one's culture.

In Your Own Words


  • Using socially acceptable ways to express unacceptable behavior or thoughts. (the only good ego defense mechanism)


Examples/Functions


  • Johnny has anger problems so he starts playing football in order to release his anger out on the field.
  • Taylor takes a karate class to take out her anger.
  • Sally reads explicit romance novels to satisfy her sexual desires.
  • Boris goes to the shooting range and fires a couple of shots because he gets violent when tempered.
  • Squeezing the squeeze toy your psychiatrist provided you whenever you get angry.
  • Helga goes to the gym and exercises vigorously when she feels angered.

Additional Resources


  1. http://changingminds.org/explanations/behaviors/coping/sublimation.htm
  2. http://people.emich.edu/pclark/freud/sublimation.html