by Katina Gleeson (Focus Hypnotherapy)

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What is the unconscious mind?

The fascination of what “lurks beneath” goes back thousands of years. Our earliest glance at it dates back to AD 130-200 Greece.
However, it was via Sigmund Freud that we encountered the construction of the other components: conscious mind, pre-conscious mind, and one of my favourites which I believe is the most interesting- the unconscious. Freud uses the popular iceberg image to provide insight into the states of mind. The iceberg is seen to have a small tip floating above the surface- this little tip which is readily accessible would be all of our normal thoughts and feelings that we have. There is a large mass which rests below water- this is the unconscious mind and is often recognized as the most powerful and complex part of the mind.
We use our conscious mind for the majority of our lives, however, when we perform innate and mundane tasks, we can access small bits of the unconscious mind without even realizing.
The unconscious mind is characterized by all that is not a part of our conscious awareness. The unconscious mind can have a heavy impact on our thoughts and behaviour. Take driving as an example- you knowingly perform the majority of the skills. But realistically it would be impossible to consciously perform all of the required tasks at the same time so this is where the unconscious comes to play. You may notice that when you begin learning to drive the task proves extremely difficult and you will find it impossible to multitask- like listening to music. As time passes and you gain more experience, your brain will revert to the unconscious.
The unconscious mind is attached to our body’s essential life-sustaining functions. It is the keeper of past experiences, motivations, beliefs, memories, and learning. The conscious and the unconscious/subconscious mind communicates frequently and unknowingly to draw on experiences, memories, and skills. You may want to try and remember your Mum’s birthday, so your unconscious mind will ask the unconscious to provide you with the exact date.
All of our ideas and understandings which control our emotions, habits, and behaviour exist in our unconscious mind.
Hypnosis can readily induce the deepest thoughts and feelings that are held in the unconscious mind, and this can lead to training and manipulation of the brain depending on what self-improvement you require. Here the unconscious mind will have an increased receptiveness to suggestions.
For this reason hypnosis can be an effective way to overcome anxiety, phobias, depression, bed wetting and even pain management.
Digging into the depths of the unconscious mind is the effective and non-medical way to treat the above and keep your feelings in check.
Hypnotherapy can work off many techniques to access the information that is required.
One of those is Suggestion Hypnotherapy. This is, for the most part, a short term treatment technique which causes the mind to think a certain way based on the suggestions that the therapist offers. For example, the therapist can tell the individual “You will no longer be anxious about XYZ” or “You will lose weight”, this works on retraining thoughts.
Another way is through Analytical Hypnotherapy. In comparison, this AH is used with individuals who need a deeper and more long term type of treatment. This can work through listening to what the individual says in the unconscious state and asking a series of questions to analyse deep rooted thoughts.
A third way is Cognitive Hypnotherapy. This is an extremely individualized approach which will address needs at the time of treatment. It utilizes theories such as psychology and neuroscience to effectively analyse.
Research is continuously being performed on the accessibility of the unconscious mind and in the present day, these forms of hypnotherapy are useful keys to unlocking the unconscious mind.

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