Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Iceberg Of The Human Mind

I note in therapy and counseling that the more negative, dysfunctional, and abusive a person experienced in childhood, the less he/she remembers, accepts, or processes it. Nonetheless, all that stuff deep down there is influencing the person in ways he/she is unable to comprehend.

Psychoanalysts say that most of our behaviors, feelings, and thoughts are 80% unconsciously motivated, and only 20% are consciously decided or controlled. They explain it by way of describing the existence and dynamic of the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious in our human psyche.

To illustrate the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious of the human mind, we can visualize an iceberg.  We can see 1/8 of the iceberg above the water. This represents the conscious mind, which deals with things you're thinking about right now. The next 1/4 or more of the iceberg, just below the surface, represents the subsconscious that touches on any feeling, motive, or past event you can recall from memory. The rest of the iceberg, which is deep under the water, represents the unconscious mind that's a reservoir for around 80% of our thoughts, feelings, and motives (including those you can't call back to memory at present).

In psychotherapy, a work of healing involves bringing things from the unconscious to the subconscious, and eventually to the conscious. 

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