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

The Dreams of a Religious Cult Member

What can a thirty-year long dream journal reveal about the life of an ex-member of a religious cult?

Furthering the Discussion on FAT: Fear Not

Ingesting fat is feared because of links to weight gain by people with eating disorders and those who don’t have an eating disorder. Addressing confusion and misrepresentation.
canstockphoto 26401185 Mandelbrot set

What Makes the Human Brain “Human?” Part 1

A quick introduction to some possible anatomical underpinnings of higher consciousness in humans and other animals.
unsplash.com/pexels.com

Are We Dreaming All the Time?

Is dreaming truly different from wakefulness?

Working While Black

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on April 06, 2017 in Minority Report
We've heard of African-Americans being racially targeted while driving, a.k.a. "driving while black," but few are aware of another kind of bias.

What Bias Looks Like for Me

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on April 03, 2017 in Minority Report
Do you feel warmly or coldly towards white people? How about Black people? Foreigners? Muslims? Christians? As you can see, there will always be those we feel more comfortable.

Can Addictive Thoughts Be Useful?

Step 1: Recognizing and understanding the emotional forces underlying addictive behaviors.

Disney Research Pioneers New Frontiers Using Virtual Reality

Walt Disney researchers are fine-tuning virtual reality (VR) technologies that could be used to improve athletic performance and many other "proprioception-based" daily activities.
Patty Mooney [CC BY-SA 3.0]

What Is Consciousness?

What would it take to make a robot experience a dream?

Recovery and Fulfillment in Loss and Longing:

Understanding unconscious motivation, strengthening ego defenses, experiencing loss & longing facilitate eating disorder recovery and enable responsible & honorable decision making

Attending to the Unconscious in a Psychotherapy Session

By Karen L Smith MSS, LCSW on March 15, 2017 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.

Road Rage: It's Only Personal If You Make It So

Feeling the impulse to retaliate against rude driving is normal. But here are some ways to keep your cool.

52 Ways to Show I Love You: Allocating Resources

Allocation of one's time, money and energy can reflect priorities. When the relationship itself is a primary recipient, behavior underscores powerful messages of love.

The Study of a 32-Year Long Dream Journal

This long series of dreams offers an amazing opportunity to observe the emotional contours of a woman's life as she makes her way through a challenging and often dangerous world.

What Is the Effect of Music on the Listener?

What is the difference between man-made musical sounds and the constant presence of worldly sounds that occupy consciousness almost around the clock?

Everything You Need to Know About Conflicts of Interest

Ever wonder if unconscious biases are affecting the way your doctor treats you? Here are a few ways to ensure that science and medicine get a handle on unconscious bias.

Was Trump’s Speech Good Only Because of the Contrast Effect?

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on March 03, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Seventy-eight percent of viewers rated Trump’s Congressional appearance positively. Is it possible they fell prey to the psychological illusion known as the contrast effect?

What the Heck Is a Claustrum?

An announcement at the BRAIN initiative meeting highlights a small brain structure with surprising integration with the rest of the mouse brain. So is it involved in consciousness?

What If We Were All Politically Conservative?

By David B. Feldman Ph.D. on February 24, 2017 in Supersurvivors
Some psychologists believe that even liberal people, deep down, possess inherently conservative instincts.

Knowing Oneself Is Easier Said Than Done

By Graham Collier on February 21, 2017 in The Consciousness Question
There is no guarantee you will ever completely know just who and why you are.
Paul Nunez

Are Some Scientists Serious About Denying Free Will?

A brief look at the issues of consciousness and free will.

This Motivation Hack Will Instantly Alter Your Thinking

By Bobby Hoffman Ph.D. on February 16, 2017 in Motivate!
The "Anchor Hack" can help you identify personal benchmarks that enhance performance and increase achievement.

Psychosexual Stages: Freud’s Theory of Personality

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on February 14, 2017 in A Sideways View
Is it true that many of our adult behaviours are a function of unresolved conflicts in childhood?

What Sexism Research Says About the Rebuke of Senator Warren

Silencing Warren reflected sexism still pervasive in American politics.

Subconscious Fear Exposure Helps Reduce Phobias, Study Finds

By Christopher Bergland on February 09, 2017 in The Athlete's Way
A new study reports that a technique called "backward masking" can help arachnophobes reduce their fear of spiders simply by subconsciously viewing images of spiders.
Can Stock Photo Inc. /Alexmit, used with permission

Could a Zombie Be Elected President?

Can philosophical zombies tell us something about the deep mystery of consciousness?

Thoughts on Grof, Epilepsy, and Mysticism

By David Dillard-Wright Ph.D. on February 04, 2017 in Boundless
The boundaries between neurological disorder and mystical experience cannot be mapped neatly.
Paul Nunez

Is the Brain More Than the Sum of Its Parts?

Emergence: How can a brain be more that just a bunch of interacting nerve cells?

Psychosomatic? No, my Stomach Really Hurts!

Today’s post is brought to you by my stomachache. My wife says I’m just being psychosomatic, but what does that even mean?

Implicit Racial Prejudice and Explicit Discrimination

Recent media coverage has questioned the utility of research on implicit biases. This article responds to criticisms of the IAT.