The fight between the conscious and unconscious mind
New Blog added 18th Feb 2019.
Why in overcoming addictions and persistent habits its important to understand the powerful part our unconscious mind plays and how to use that power to break the chain of addiction with mind based cognitive therapies that work at the unconscious level.
I see people from all walks of life in my Therapy Room with many diverse presenting issues and most understand that where they are right now, in that moment of now, took them a fairly long journey in their life to be where they arrive... at a point in life where they seek professional help simply because they have reached an impasse in their lives where they are struggling to do it on their own and there is a driving need to find a different perspective on helping themselves to find inner change. And that is a good thing because it shows they haven't given up on themselves.
At the outset I invest a lot of time to help clients understand why they are where they are and this involves a talk about the difference between the conscious and unconscious mind and the balance of power between the two and I explain exactly why the unconscious mind is more powerful than our conscious mind because it underpins everything we do and how its primary purpose is to keep us safe and protect us and run deep seated behaviours, habits, routines and reactions.
A very important part of the conversation is to explain that the subconscious will always do its best for us in its primary directive of protection even if on a conscious level the "thing" that it is doing, like gambling, drinking, addiction etc is not at all what we consciously want.
Therein lays the dilemma of conflict with the driven urge to do something we can't appear to control because of the power of the subconscious mind.
There is an interesting thing about the unconscious mind, it isn't capable of thinking for itself and it’s hard wired to flight, fight or freeze and outside of its basic programmes from keeping us safe, it is blindly obedient and can be reprogrammed. Now what do me mean?
It would for example be very difficult to hypnotise someone to do something that could put them in harm’s way or do something that would be against their moral compass. The subconscious will have a very strong reaction and programme to overturn an event such as that.
No one needs to tell the drinker they are drinking their life away drowning their sorrows. They already know how that feels but there is a way out.
From this one can see the unconscious can be quite resistant, however, here is an important factor, the unconscious mind will always deliver that which we truly want!
Now in a state of inner conflict that is going to take some negotiating because the unconscious mind is effectively stuck in a locked loop and this is why when we are going to work with clients on helping them free themselves from the weeds of habit and addiction it is very important that the client understands that Hypnotherapy although very powerful is not a magic pill that will suddenly free them from their issues until the reprogramming process is complete and accepted by the unconscious mind. The reason is that the energy for change needs to be built up in the psyche and the old craving and drive needs to be destroyed and the unconscious in the early part of therapy will do its very best to have its way and resist but you have to start somewhere.
The addicted gambler is always betting on an outcome that is never guaranteed, but one thing is. The odds are always stacked against them
Now that resistance can manifest in statements such as "its not working" , I'm still drinking, gambling etc or it can manifest in actions such as the client bailing out within a session or so without giving the process the time it needs to work for them.
Often negotiation takes time and particularly where one party holds strong emotions and views and the unconscious is very much doing the same thing until we get to yes and there is mutual consent that the addiction is harmful and needs to stop.
The hardened smoker will always think it will never happen to me until that last cigarette is the one that triggers cancer.Then what?
One can liken the addiction, habit etc to a virus on a p.c. A lot of virus's are complex, working on many levels and are, firstly potentially dangerous or even catastrophic. Secondly, they are very deeply implanted and often deeply resistant at first to break down and root out. But they can and do.
Every addict feels like they ere just burning money away and whilst some may say they are in Control, its the addiction that is controlling them which is why some addicts dislike control because deep down inside they know they are being controlled by the programme running deep inside the unconscious mind. Taking back control is the very thing that is needed.
To my mind, I see a correlation between our minds and computers and the way both work after all the computer is born of the human mind.
Hypnotherapy can work given time. Sometimes though the unconscious resistance can be so high that some clients fail to work through the resistance even with all the explanations and support and they may bail out and end up two, three years down the line still stuck still on the path to possible self destruction.
There is a way out. Hard ? Yes.. impossible ? No....Turn Impossible into I'm possible. Take back control and say I can and I did.
To create change you often have to go through some hard things first but they lay firm foundations.
I find that the clients who understand and embrace the message that a journey of a thousand miles start with just one step tend to be the clients who find that freedom peace and success that they are looking for.
Trevor Wales Hypnotherapy Solutions.
Turn your cant into a can with mind based cognitive therapy