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Internalization is an Awareness Reduction Mechanism. Internalization involves the redirection of negative emotions like anger and hatred internally. When one internalizes, one develops a sense of self-deprecation or even self-hate.

Other Awareness Reduction Mechanisms

Awareness Reduction Mechanisms > Avoidance, Denial, Displacement, Dissociation, Distortion, Distraction, Diversion, Gaslighting, Intellectualization, Internalization, Projection, Rationalization, Reaction Formation, Regression, Repression, Sublimation


Internalization helps us avoid trauma. If an adolescent is angry at their father for abuse, but the adolescent cannot express that anger for fear of additional abuse, they may internalize their anger and redirect it towards themselves. Over time they may forget they are angry at their father (awareness reduction), at which point their self-deprecation and self-hate becomes normalized.