What is the Unconscious Mind?

Almost all hypnotists agree that the trance state opens a door into the unconscious mind; but they may have different views of what the unconscious is.

Some professionals buy into the view developed in the nineteenth century by the Austrian physician Sigmund Freud, who divided the mind into three parts—Ego, Superego and Id. Freud described the Ego as the completely conscious, rational part of the mind. The Superego was partly conscious and partly not. The Id was completely unconscious and irrational, the terrain of hidden impulses and drives. The Ego and Superego were just ways the mind kept the destructive impulses of the Id under control.

The Freudian view is not as popular these days, but most hypnotists and hypnotherapists will readily agree that the unconscious exists, that it is important, and that finding ways to connect with it is an essential part of hypnotic work.

So, what is the unconscious?

To begin, it is something that exists on multiple levels of the mind; and hypnosis allows us to work on all of those levels. One level is physical. When a motor skill is practiced over and over again, it becomes automatic. The moves are performed with no conscious thought.

A second level is made up of all the things we have forgotten, all the way back to early childhood. Those memories are no longer in our conscious awareness, there’s not enough room there; but they are still down inside, tucked away, and it is possible, with hypnosis, to open the door to those memories, bring them back into conscious awareness, and work with them.

A final level is the one we refer to as repression. These are memories that we have pushed out of consciousness, often because they are too painful, or too frightening, to remember. Working with hypnosis, we can get back in touch with those memories, but from a calm, protected place that allows us to deal with them in a useful way, and get on with our lives.

Most of the time your unconscious is no problem. If you leave it alone, it will return the favor. But sometimes you need to open a door to that part of your mind, and a competent hypnotist—in Gold Coast think Greg Thompson—will help you do that.

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