Understanding the Unconscious

The unconscious is where most of the work of the mind gets done; it's the repository of automatic skills, the source of intuition and dreams, and an engine of information processing. Fleeting perceptions may register in the unconscious mind long before are aware of them.

The unconscious mind is not some black hole of unacceptable impulses waiting to trip you up, but it can be the source of hidden beliefs, fears, and attitudes that interfere with everyday life. Most forms of psychotherapy aim to bring into conscious awareness many of these hidden hindrances, so that we can examine them and choose how to deal with them.

Recent posts on Unconscious

Who is That Big, Green Judging Machine?

By Marcia Reynolds Psy.D. on July 23, 2016 in Wander Woman
Judging and criticizing can be exhausting. So why does your brain thrive on hurling insults? Learn why and what you can do to gain peace of mind and better relationships.

The Surprising Things You’ve Never Wanted to Know about Love

We think of love as an entirely positive emotion, but there are some surprising downsides to being in love.

A 60 Second Journey Deep Into Your Unconscious

Venture into the unknown...if you dare!

The Psychological Hero

By Pythia Peay on July 19, 2016 in America On The Couch
"The Hero-myth is the central myth of Jungian psychoanalysis, because for Jung the hero’s 'grand opus' concerns the relations with the unconscious." Jungian analyst Erel Shalit

The Benefits of Creative Visualization

By Abigail Brenner M.D. on June 25, 2016 in In Flux
Creative visualization is a tested tool to help us achieve our goals and overcome limitations. By accessing the subconscious we can change our beliefs & ultimately,our reality.

The Risks of a Diminished Consciousness

The way things are going, we may, at some point, have to call ourselves something other than the ‘Human Race.’

Exploring Feelings

We are born with specific innate feelings, which combine with each other and life experiences to form our complex emotional world.

Free Will Is Not an Illusion

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on June 10, 2016 in Memory Medic
Many neuroscientists and philosophers say you are a biological robot. Don't believe them.

Let's Profile Brock Turner, More Accurately Than His Father

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on June 10, 2016 in Full Living
Let’s analyze this criminal’s psychological profile, the way they do in all our favorite crime dramas on TV, imagining ourselves in the shoes of the rapist.

Mind Traps

What's on your automatic mind?

Why Politics Are So Hard: A Psychoanalyst’s Perspective

Fear of survival and fear of loss are powerful human motivators.

It's All About Power

By John Staddon, Ph.D. on June 01, 2016 in Adaptive Behavior
Who is the real micro-aggressor?

Get Your Head in the Clouds

By Ira Hyman Ph.D. on May 31, 2016 in Mental Mishaps
Problem solutions like to play hide and seek. We seek. And they hide. The harder we search, the more they hide. Here are 3 steps to help you find creative solutions.

How Symptoms are Solutions

By Susan Rako M.D. on May 25, 2016 in More Light
Worrying seems to be purposeless suffering. It's actually a solution to existential pain.

A Unified Approach to Human Consciousness

A unified approach to human consciousness is laid out, and Freud's structural and topographical models are updated in the process.

Take the One Second Intelligence Test

A very fast way to learn how fast you are

We Are, Where We Are: Spatial Cognition Shapes Our Self-Hood

The physical environments that surround you have a huge impact on who you are in the present moment and cumulatively throughout your lifespan, according to new research.

5 Reasons the Cerebellum Is Key to Thriving in a Digital Age

For human beings to thrive in a digital age, the cerebellum must not be allowed to atrophy by sitting all day, limiting face-to-face contact, or excessive screen time.

Depth Psychology of Art

The transformative powers of artistic expression are found in diving into the depths as well as the reflections of its surfaces.

Microaggression, Mens Rea and the Unconscious Mind

Why are good intentions not enough?

How Can Your Relationship Survive True Intimacy?

What we regard as the transience of love is really risk management. Love can endure, if only we become aware of our self-destructive efforts to protect ourselves from its risks.

You Can't Force Brilliance

Whether you are trying to figure out where you parked your car or avoid calling someone the wrong name, again, don't overthink it!

The Neuroscience of How We Intentionally Forget Experiences

Researchers at Dartmouth College have pinpointed how we remember, and forget, both good and bad memories.

I Order You to Stop Following Orders!

By Guy P. Harrison on May 03, 2016 in About Thinking
We all have a natural weakness for authority figures. To be safer, question everything and think twice before following orders.

Sigmund Freud Had Penis Envy

May 6th is Sigmund Freud's 160th birthday. Let's start the celebration with some secrets. Freud had plenty.

Attending to the Unconscious in a Psychotherapy Session

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on May 01, 2016 in Full Living
Lots of folks can offer counsel to our clients. Our job is to help them access clues from their unconscious about the turmoils of their soul.

Watch Your Language!

Just what is your choice of language telling yourself and others?

Passive Frame Theory: a New Synthesis

By Ezequiel Morsella Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in Consciousness and the Brain
A new theory about consciousness, based on integrating a handful of theories

MRIs Reveal Unconscious Bias in the Brain

By Bernard J. Luskin, Ed.D., LMFT on April 07, 2016 in The Media Psychology Effect
Unconscious bias has been identified, observed and validated in brain studies using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology. Unconscious bias is now acknowledged. A must read!

Men's Top-Dog Power Gestures Make Them Seem Untrustworthy

By Rebecca Coffey on April 05, 2016 in The Bejeezus Out of Me
In a new study, male speakers making lots of wide-reaching arm gestures (like Trump's) were generally seen as dominant. But they were also seen as fakers.