Psychoanalysis is based on the Freudian school of thought that our unconscious mind contains repressed thoughts, drives, traumatic experiences, memories and unresolved childhood conflicts that influence our present thoughts and behaviors. By accessing your unconscious mind through analysis of your transference during therapy, you can gain a better understanding of yourself and why you say and do the things that you do. Besides formal psychoanalytic therapy with a therapist, you can also analyze yourself. This is helpful to better understand your interactions and behavior, but make sure that you’re not overdoing it. Too much self-analysis can potentially make you rigid if you’re always thinking about why you said this and did that. A healthy dose of analysis is the best way to go.
So what is Psychoanalysis?
The human brain has a conscious mind and an unconscious mind. The conscious mind is you experiencing life and everything in it. But your unconscious mind is where all the magic happens; you’re not aware of this portion of the mind. But there is a time when you can become aware of it and that is through dreams. Freud referred to dreams as, “the royal road to the unconscious.” In addition, physiological functions such as respiration, heart rate and digestion are unconsciously performed. You’re not aware of these functions; they happen automatically. You can become aware of them but let’s hope you’re not doing that!
So What Does it Do?
What is so great about the unconscious mind? Well, it records everything in your environment, including every waking and sleeping moment of your existence. With the information it gathers, it interprets it, manipulates it, stores it and then pulls the strings of your conscious mind. The strings that are pulled influence your thoughts, actions and behavior. In other words, you’re controlled by your unconscious mind. One can argue that it’s not possible since you have free will to do whatever you want. You are correct in that you have free will, but your free will is controlled as well.
The bottom line is that your unconscious mind is not some malevolent force trying to do you harm. It loves you but it also acts like a computer, studying your every move and action. Sometimes you don’t make the best decisions in life and this ends up adversely affecting you. Where do you think all your baggage is stored? It goes straight to the vault called the unconscious mind. The point of psychoanalysis is to gain access to this vault and retrieve lost memories, lost files and lost experiences. Once you reconnect with them, the pieces of the puzzle fall back into place and things start to make more sense.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)