Your mind

It’s long been acknowledged that the unconscious mind has an important part to play in therapy.  But it’s only recently that we are realising how true this really is.
Some psychotherapies focus their attention on fixing problems in the conscious mind, and the unconscious mind often gets overlooked. Some counselling approaches focus on past emotional events, revisiting them in order to help relieve emotional symptoms.
However, by recalling these past events, you reinforce the networks in the brain.  We might say for example, “It’s not my fault I behave the way I do; after all, I had a bad childhood”.
By creating and repeating such a statement, we are reinforcing the neural networks. These networks give rise to emotions, then beliefs, that keep us focusing on past pain, as well as behaviours that continually reinforce the trauma, as well as the sympathy others give us.
Conscious and unconscious is sometimes described as an iceberg. This is where the conscious mind represents the mass submerged below water, with the unconscious mass of about 10%, above the surface.
But actually the unconscious is probably a lot smaller than this, imagine an apple tree, where one solitary apple represents the conscious mind, and the remaining is the unconscious.
We have three individual brains, that have evolved together over millions of years.
The first brain is  the reptilian brain, this one is involved in the 4 F’s - fear, feeding, fighting and fornicating.
The second brain is the limbic system which is also known as the mammalian brain. This is the most dominant in mammals.  The limbic brain contains the hippocampus, which is seahorse shaped.  The hippocampus acts as a processing centre, which acquires information from our five senses and decides on whether something is a threat or not.  
If it’s a threat it sends an activation message to the amygdala, which controls our fight or flight response. Sometimes these threats aren’t real and one outcome can be the establishment of unwanted phobias.
The third brain, the newest one, is the neocortex which is responsible for speech, writing, creativity and higher-order thinking in humans.  It’s suggested the neocortex  is only around 20,000 years old, but we’ve only switched onto using it in the last 7000 years.
Our old brains perceive the world as a frightening place, filled with rivals competing for the same scarce resources. To this brain what matters most is survival, and it’s all ready to fight or flee. The new brain, however, understands that we do not have to live in a continuous state of threat. It knows we are not struggling to survive in a hostile work haunted by fear or death. 
This conflict is not very helpful in modern day society, when we are misinterpreting what is happening in our environment as a threat, when it’s actually not.  Taking an exam, speaking in public, a disrupted sleep patten, or a full blown panic attack, are all examples of threats that trigger this flight of flight response.
The interesting thing is that the unconscious exists across all three brains, but not in any physical form, we can’t see it and we don’t understand how it works. It can be argued that the unconscious doesn’t actually exist, it’s just a linguistic representation that we use to describe something going on in the brain, that we don’t fully understand.  
Each of these three brains work together to produce the altered state of hypnosis
Modern day neuroscience is searching for answers, but very few clinical trials are conducted. Studies have shown, for example, that a sugar pill can be as effective as morphine in 56 percent of people.  We label this the placebo effect, but it’s a term of dismissal in every day conversation and very under researched.
Most of us are familiar with psychological disease than with psychological health. We know we can worry ourselves sick, and its suspected that we can laugh ourselves to health. These things take place outside of our conscious awareness, in our unconscious.
The placebo effect and psychological wellness are the result of tapping into the healing potential of the mind, which has been common practice in humankind for thousands of years. 
Hypnosis works because it focuses on making changes in the unconscious mind by using deep trance states to elicit the state changes.
The unconscious mind is the part of you that’s like your ‘automatic pilot’ ensuring that you continue to do the things that you’ve learned to do. The problem is: sometimes we learn to do things that we now want or need to change! And this can be anything from physical habits to emotional responses.
This is where Sarah Jons can help.