Our mind works on different levels to make and maintain change.
Sometimes we use the metaphor of putting on “Different Hats” in different areas of our life. We may have heard the saying “I need to put on my thinking cap”, or “I’ve got my business hat on now”.
This metaphor can also be equated to the different levels of our mind.
It’s helpful to know that different levels of our mind control different areas of function, thinking, behavior, feeling and very importantly… our ability to make, change or keep patterns.
To understand more let’s look at the different Levels of the Mind… the Unconscious, Subconscious and Conscious.
The deepest level is what we know as the “Unconscious” mind. We might call this the “Beenie Brain“.
The unconscious mind runs our automated functions; just to name a few:
It’s like wearing a Beenie we hardly even notice… it’s just there!
The next level is what we know as the “Subconscious” mind. We could think of this as the “Fascinator Brain”.
It’s like those fancy fascinators you see ladies wearing at the races. There’s quite a bit going on, it’s more imaginative with lots more bells and whistles!
The subconscious mind is creative and does not differentiate between reality and imagination.
So when a pattern is suggested through life experience or in hypnosis the brain is more likely to simply accept it. The subconscious mind is where patterns are made.
Patterns may be unhelpful such as –
Or helpful and desirable like –
performance at school/ work
riding a bike
speaking a language
Once a pattern has been created it is stored in the “Conscious” mind.
This is like the Serious Hat we wear to a work function or business event.
It’s all business, no frills…because the “Conscious“ mind is our version of “Reality“.
The conscious mind is really important because it keeps our patterns going. This is why a persons version of reality can seem very set.
This is great if patterns are helpful. For example, a strong belief in your own values, resilience or the people you love.
But sometimes we hold onto unhelpful patterns. Even when somebody presents a logical argument, we may cling on to what we believe is reality to us.
For example, you can tell someone who has aerophobia, (i.e. a fear of flying) all the safety statistics and rational reasons why flying is a safe and wonderful way to travel. But it doesn’t change the belief they hold as reality, that it is frightening, dangerous and potentially life threatening.
We can talk to them til we’re blue in the face! And in traditional psychology we often do talk with patients until we’re blue in the face….because we are talking with their conscious mind.
They are learning about their triggers, patterns of feeling, thinking, behaving and functioning which is ok, but often the “problem” pattern itself isn’t changing.
The conscious mind is not great at changing patterns it’s only great at holding them as our version of reality.
Patterns are made and changed in the subconscious. So if you want a new pattern the subconscious is the place to create it.
This is where clinical hypnotherapy with an experienced therapist is a powerful tool. It accesses the subconscious mind and its patterns at the level where they are created.
Perri Curtis, Clinical Hypnotherapy-Psychology, Wellbeing Sanctuary, Wooralla Dr & Bundara Cres, Mt Eliza 03 9787 2111
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