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

Trust Your Gut—There's Nothing Woo-Woo About the Vagus Nerve

By Christopher Bergland on September 23, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study found that financial traders who trust their gut feelings and have grace under pressure are more successful. What is the physiological explanation for this phenomenon?

View Concussion as a “Brain Sprain”

By Harry Kerasidis M.D. on September 20, 2016 in Brain Trauma
Defining concussions gets a variety of answers, so neurologist Harry Kerasidis outlines the brain injury and symptoms, by comparing it to the common ankle sprain.

Outta Control: Trump, Critics, and Circumcising Mosquitoes

By Gregg R. Murray Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in Caveman Politics
We need some "mosquito surgery" in this year's presidential election. Calling all male mosquitoes.

Can Hollywood Shift Unconscious Bias?

By Tiffany McLain LMFT on September 08, 2016 in Living Between Worlds
Film and television often serves to reinforce racial stereotypes. But what if media was used to challenge our unconscious bias?

To See Ourselves as Others See Us

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in A Sideways View
Have you completed a JoHari Window? How easy is it for other people to get to know you? Do you really have self-insight into your strengths and weaknesses
photo from pixabay

React vs Respond

By Matt James Ph.D. on September 01, 2016 in Focus on Forgiveness
A reaction and a response may look exactly alike. But they aren't the same. Which would you prefer to have?

A New and Better Way to Read People

Your body can be a better tuning fork for determining other peoples’ emotions than your mind.

Are Animals Conscious?

Are animals conscious? The implications are important.

Why Theological Waywardness Is Inevitable

Natural penchants of mind, such as anthropomorphism, dispose people to think about gods in ways that often conflict with their religions' doctrines.

Exploring Our Own Stereotypes and Biases

It is natural to want to deny our own biases, but trying to suppress negative thoughts doesn’t work. The good news is that you can have thoughts without being guided by them.

5 Secret Ways You Keep Yourself (and Your Partner) Faithful

Have you ever wondered about the unconscious behaviors we perform in order to stay faithful? And to keep our mates faithful? Find out which of these behaviors you perform.

Do Criminals Desire to Get Caught?

In 1915, Freud wrote about an unconscious desire to get caught and punished. But he did not treat criminals.

The (Script) Doctor Will See You Now

By John Munder Ross Ph.D. on August 03, 2016 in The Talking Cure
The only way to get around writer's block is to grapple with the resonances and/or symbolic meanings of the characters and events on the page.

Why Your Perfect Partner Doesn't Need to Be Ideal

Our partner may not match our ideal preferences, but we employ a variety of psychological techniques to keep us happy with the person we're with.
W. R. Klemm

Who Is Responsible? You or Your Neurons

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on August 02, 2016 in Memory Medic
Do you deserve credit for your honest achievements and blame for your failures? An increasing number of philosophers and scientists says no.
California Superior Court

Tachykinesics—Those Fleeting Behaviors That Say So Much

By Joe Navarro M.A. on July 31, 2016 in Spycatcher
Sometimes the most fleeting ephemeral behaviors are the ones that reveal what is really in the heart and the mind.

Is Your Bias Limiting You?

By Megan Dalla-Camina on July 28, 2016 in Real Women
Are your behaviors and success being limited by your biases? Here are some simple reminders to keep your biases in check.

Your Eyes Are a Window Into the Inner Workings of Your Brain

William Shakespeare is credited with observing, "Eyes are the window to the soul." A new study goes one step farther by showing how your eyes are a window into your brain.

Unconscious Pig Latin? How Conscious Thoughts "Just Happen"

Can high-level thoughts (e.g., Pig Latin) occur involuntarily? If so, what does this reveal about the brain and consciousness?

Try to Forget: The Psychology of Repression

By Adrian Furnham Ph.D. on July 25, 2016 in A Sideways View
What do the cognitive psychologists and the psychoanalysts say about repression?

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.

3 Surprising Facts About the Dangerous Power of 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.