Updated: Jan 29, 2021

In Context

Category:-Psychotherapy(The unconscious determines the behavior )

Approach :-Psychoanalysis


The unconscious is one of the most intriguing concept in psychology .It seems to contain all of our experience of reality ,although it appears to be beyond our awareness or control . It is the place where we retain all our memories ,thoughts & feelings .Is it possible to explain things that seemed to lie beyond the confines of psychology at the time .Those who had began to examine unconscious feared that it might be filled with psychic activity that was too powerful, too frightening, or too incomprehensible for our conscious mind to be able to incorporate .The structure of mind was formed of the conscious ,the unconscious and the preconscious, the idea of unconscious was always being popularized by many notable scientist and philosophers which stated that it is the part of the mind that defines and explains the workings behind our ability to think and experience .


(i) Hypnosis and Hysteria :-

Hypnosis is a human condition involving focused attention , reduced peripheral awareness, and an enhanced capacity to respond to suggestion

Hypnosis is an altered state of mind , marked by a level of awareness different from the ordinary state of consciousness.

During hypnosis, a person is said to have heightened focus and concentration . Hypnotized subjects are said to show an increased response to suggestions. Hypnosis usually begins with a hypnotic induction involving a series of preliminary instructions and suggestion. The use of hypnotism for therapeutic purposes is referred to as hypnotherapy while its use as a form of entertainment for an audience is known as stage hypnosis a form of mentalism

Hypnosis for pain management is likely to decrease acute and chronic pain in most individuals" although meta-studies on the efficiency of hypnotherapy show little or no effect for some other problems such as smoking cessation The use of hypnosis in other contexts, such as a form of therapy to retrieve and integrate early trauma, is controversial within the medical or psychological mainstream.

Research indicates that hypnotizing an individual may aid the formation of false memories, and that hypnosis does not help people recall events more accurately.


where as Hysteria is a pejorative term used colloquially to mean ungovernable emotional excess and can refer to a temporary state of mind or emotion. In the 19th century, hysteria was considered a diagnosable physical illness in females. In the 20th century, it shifted to being considered a mental illness. Currently, most doctors practicing Western medicine do not accept hysteria as a medical diagnosis. The blanket diagnosis of hysteria has been fragmented into a myriad of medical categories such as epilepsy, histrionic personality disorder, conversion disorders, dissociative disorders or other medical conditions. Furthermore, social deviances, such as deciding not to wed, are no longer considered symptoms of psychological disorders such as hysteria.

(ii) Our Everyday mind

It is easy to take for granted the reality of the conscious and naively believe that what we think ,feel, remember and experience makeup the entirely of the human mind ,but the active state of consciousness-that is the operational mind of which we are directly aware in our everyday experience -is just a fraction of the total psychological forces at work in our psychical reality .The conscious exists at the superficial level ,to which we have easy and immediate access. Beneath the conscious lies the powerful dimensions of the unconscious ,the ware house from which our active cognitive state and behavior are dictated .The conscious is effectively the puppet in the hands of unconscious. The conscious mind is merely the surface of a complex psychic realm

Since the unconscious is all-encompassing it within the smaller spheres of the conscious and an area called the "preconscious" .

Everything that is conscious that we actively know has at one time been unconscious ,However not everything becomes consciously known ,much of what is unconscious remains there .Memories that are not in our everyday working ,but which have not been repressed, reside in a part of the conscious mind that we call the preconscious .We are able to bring these memories into consciousness awareness at any time.



Our psyche resembles an iceberg with the area of primitive drives ,the id ,lying hidden in the unconscious thoughts and regulates both the id and the super ego -our critical ,judging voice .The unconscious acts as a receptacle for ideas or memories that are too powerful ,too painful or otherwise too much for the conscious mind to process .When certain ideas or memories (and their associated emotions )threaten to overwhelm the psyche they are split apart from a memory that can be accessed by the conscious mind and sorted in the unconscious instead

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