Level I: Intrapsychic-biological substrate

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The intrapsychic-biological substrate can be depicted as a triangular configuration and can be conceptually viewed at the micro-level of analysis as what is occurring within the individual. This level is essentially the mind/brain system and represent. Using a triangular matrix, the bottom corner of the triangle depicts the affective/cognitive subsystem. The upper right hand corner of the triangle represents anxiety which is activated by the lower corner of the triangle when unacceptable emotions or cognitions are consciously or unconsciously stimulated. The upper left-hand corner of the triangle represents defenses which are called into operation to defend against and manage anxiety. This system is self-organizing in a way that attempts to maximize adaptive functioning.