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Dr. Dianne Ruth

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Life Coaching & Alternative/Holistic Counseling Magical Toolbox


Unconscious vs Subconscious

The words subconscious and unconscious are often used interchangeably. One difference between the two is, the subconscious refers to the realm beneath or beyond conscious awareness. Alternately, the unconscious is where psychic material is stored that has a strong influence on behavior.

This is like an iceberg where the tip floating above the water represents our conscious mind, and the much larger part below water is the depot of memories, knowledge and experience.

The unconscious mind is a magnificent warehouse of stored experiences. These experiences are stored in a field of energy that is centered in the brain and spreads throughout the body.

The unconscious mind captures and absorbs absolutely everything that it is exposed to, and sorts it into retrievable information. It also contains all the knowledge necessary for generating personal solutions, happiness, inner peace and optimal mind-body, and spiritual beingness.

Because the unconscious mind takes in everything around it, nothing is ever lost. Even when it may appear that nothing is happening, the unconscious is often busy reorganizing massive amounts of material so it can accept and use new ideas. Eventually, it all comes together over time, and the desired change takes place.

Throughout my work, I tend to use the distinction of the unconscious mind as a way of identifying a deeper level of access.

Metaphors and the Unconscious

Metaphors are the language of the unconscious mind. They are most easily recognized from our dreams where events in our daily lives are reflected. Our unconscious mind thinks in images. If I say to you the word "tree," a vague picture of a tree most likely pops into your mind.

Metaphors are stories that stimulate our imagination. We are generally attracted to movies that often play out our own life experiences or desires.

The unconscious is very literal. For example, how often have you noticed someone who lost weight only to "find" it again? The unconscious believes that if we "lose" something, we should find it! Then there is the smoker who "quits" only to start up again. In our society, a "quitter" is usually frowned upon.

The unconscious mind has no image for negative words such as no or not or don’t. Have you ever told yourself: I don’t want to forget to stop by the store on my way home from work–and promptly forgotten? The unconscious heard: ...forget to stop by the store. In its desire to oblige our perceived wishes, it promptly complied.

When a person communicates to us using analogies, stories, or metaphors, it can help us to better understand their story because we can identify with it using our frame of reference or experiences.

When we do that, we can become introspective and sometimes recognize "lessons" at the unconscious or conscious level that we may need from the telling, and act on them in positive ways.

So using metaphors in communication can be a way to "reach" another person indirectly and non-aggressively. You may be life coached/holistically and alternatively counseled in how to develop proficiency in this very useful ability.

Dictionaries define a metaphor as a figure of speech in which a word of phrase denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another to suggest a likeness or analogy between them.

When listening to a metaphor, the conscious mind usually hears one part of a message, the unconscious mind may hear another deeper part of the message.

I once had a colleague who went into the hospital for some foot surgery. I stopped by to cheer her up. I proceeded to chat with her about my dog that was in obedience training. I was so proud of him; he was learning how to heel and follow commands so much more quickly than all the other dogs.

In a follow up, she later told me that her doctor was amazed ... her foot had healed up in about a third of the time he would have expected! What her unconscious mind heard was that her foot (slang, dog) could learn to heal (heel) very quickly. And, by the way, I never did tell her that I didn’t even own a dog--at least at that time!

When I wish to communicate to a client that very often only one tiny change is all that is needed to broaden and expand into an exciting outcome, I tell them the following metaphorical story:

"The Two-Degree Course Change"

Imagine for a moment that you wanted to take a cruise ship to Alaska. Let’s say that you travel to the Port of Los Angeles where you embark on your trip. It becomes nighttime, and the weather is overcast. All you can see are dark waves rising and falling.

Unbeknownst to you, the captain decides to make a two-degree course change. You discover this when all of a sudden you wake up and here you are in the exotic orient about to board the re-Orient Express.

And, yes, there is actually only about a two-degree course change when starting out from the Port of Los Angeles and redirecting to Asia.

Milton Erickson, MD was the pioneer of clinical hypnosis, and master of metaphors and reframing techniques. He was a brilliant psychiatrist who was wheelchair bound, having had Polio twice. He was also colorblind and could only see the color purple. As a result, he always wore a purple suit. He authored many books, and many books were written about his work. He died in the early 1980s.

Next: Using Signals to "Talk" with the Unconscious Mind

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According to the National Institute of Mental Health, psychotherapy only has a 20% success rate.

I have a 97% success rate, and over 37 years experience.

I honor and respect your race, religion, culture, and way of life including senior citizens and those with disabilities.

I also welcome adults in consensual, sane and safe, alternative sexual and other creative lifestyle choices.



Website:  http://www.DynamicResources.net ; http://www.AnxietyCareCoach.com

Email: DrDianneRuth@DynamicResources.net ; DrDianneRuth@AnxietyCareCoach.com

The designated contact and principal office responsible for this website is:
Dianne Ruth, PhD
Dynamic Resources International™
Anxiety Treatment & Care Doctor

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