The subconscious mind - what lies beneath
Updated: Dec 29, 2020
As Hypnotherapists we communicate with the subconscious mind. According to a large body of psychological and neuropsychological research gathered over the last couple of decades what happens in the conscious mind can be described literally as the tip of the iceberg,
The tip of the iceberg that we can see above the water constitutes 5% of our mind, the part responsible for conscious thinking, logic and decision making.
The other 95% of the iceberg that we can't see underneath the water represents the subconscious mind which contains our wisdom, memories and intelligence.
The subconscious mind is active and at work all the time, it runs the programs for all of the things that we don't have to think about, breathing, blinking, driving, habits.
The subconscious takes things literally, imagine a baby learning from its care givers, watching and mirroring behaviours, we often hear children's brains described as sponges, soaking up everything they are told and see, learning and saving the information all of the time.
This is one reason that hypnotherapy is particularly effective in adults as we can communicate with the subconscious, operating at the same Theta brainwave pattern as children are in and it will take direct suggestion. This is particularly beneficial as through hypnotherapy and accessing the subconscious mind we can re frame a traumatic memory, or change an unwanted habit.
Imagine these as faulty programmes that have been downloaded and sat in the computer ( the subconscious) operating incorrectly, the good news is that we can go in and adjust them for the better through hypnotherapy. All hypnosis is self hypnosis, a natural experience guided by a hypnotherapist lowering the brain waves through relaxation and creating access to the subconscious mind.
The subconscious can also be thought of as a filing cabinet, holding and filing all of your previous life experiences, your beliefs, your memories situations from the past and every image you have ever seen and you can access them all when in a trance state.
When working with the subconscious to reframe or change an unwanted behaviour or incident if the subconscious believes that the new suggested behaviour or image is better than the current programme that is running and is willing to make the change it will, without the analytical and critical input of the conscious mind.
The subconscious mind is not logical - it is the emotional mind - the feeling mind. The subconscious can not tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. Often children are living and acting from their subconscious mind, this is why we don't use hypnosis in children under 6/7 as they are extremely open to suggestion and will take things literally.
Children live in their subconscious minds up until the age of around 7, sometimes a little earlier, sometimes later depending on the development of the individual. This is why we can so willingly convince children of Father Christmas, and the tooth fairy and why if you sit down with a 5 year old to their tea partly they are really pouring tea into your tiny plastic cup.
The subconscious will always win. In hypnotherapy we see repercussions from past events and memories that are brought on by feelings or emotions connected by the subconscious mind.
An example of this could be someone living with PTSD induced by war. A bang or a firework, can trigger an emotional reaction to the memory attached to the sound - now the conscious mind would rationalise that this cannot be a bomb or a gunshot because we are not in that environment any more, but the subconscious will take over and can cause a traumatic experience for the individual, the subconscious mind bringing on feelings of fear and memories of war.
The subconscious mind is beautiful and incredible and working with it in hypnotherapy is interesting and life changing.