Feb 27 2014

How Does The Unconscious Mind Get Our Needs Met?

Why Doodling Matters Why Doodling Matters (Photo credit: giulia.forsythe)

How Does The Unconscious Mind Get Our Needs Met? – Vol. 240, Feb. 27, 2014

There are many ways that our unconscious mind helps us to get our needs met. These are not necessarily items that we understand as “needs”, yet they still function as such. Let me give you a few examples of what I am speaking about here.

I have a prospective client call who is feeling depressed. When she comes in for her first session and we do her detailed personal history, it is clear that she felt her younger sister got all the attention. Her unconscious mind was helping her to get the attention of her parents by becoming so ill that they had to take notice and take some action to help get her well. I have seen this pattern repeated with bulimic clients as well.

Another prospective client calls saying that she needs to be seen for weight loss. She has no idea why it is that she continues to eat even when she isn’t hungry. With a bit more investigation the story is told is that she was sexually abused when she was younger and still felt much pain over the incident regardless of the therapy that she had already gone through. She was eating to keep her self safe from sexual advances – or at least that was the method that her unconscious mind was using to achieve that goal.

A client can’t figure out why it is that going on job interviews is a problem. He can make the call and get the interview date, but is unable to make it for the interview. He very much needs the job, yet can’t get himself to go through the interview process. Through a bit of conversation it comes out that this gentleman was fired from his last job even though he made great sales numbers and had no idea why this happened. His unconscious mind was protecting him from being hurt again by a future employer.

It is important to understand that your unconscious mind will do all sorts of things to help you to not have to be hurt again. The only problem is that many times the reason for the defense mechanism may have out lived its need. As a result, the defense mechanism is causing you harm instead of helping you in any viable manner. It is through understanding how the unconscious mind is working to try and help you, but which is actually harming your quality of life, that you can go ahead and help it find more productive ways to help you out. In many situations the client really doesn’t understand the connection between the thoughts and behaviors that they are wanting to get rid of and the deeper reason for them being there. Once that connection is better understood, releasing the negative thoughts and behaviors becomes a lot easier allowing for a much better quality of life.

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