The subconscious mind is looking after us all the time, it is there to serve, and protect us. It keeps all the systems in the body functioning, like the circulation, digestion and breathing, without us needing to do anything consciously about it.
It also creates habits and automatic functioning for us so that we don’t have to think about how to do something like riding a bike, driving, and the sort of things we can just do automatically without really thinking about it. Anything we do consciously and repeatedly, the subconscious will see this as important (even if its not really healthy or helpful). It will also see it as an opportunity to help you, and create a habit so that its easier to maintain doing it, and it ensures it keeps happening for you. Of course you may be able to see how this might not always be helpful, and that this is how many bad habits of eating, or thinking can occur.
If we are going through a difficult time it can suppress emotions for us until a better time that we can deal with them. That is why sometimes we come to counselling with something which happened a long time ago. The subconscious knows it is in your best interest to process these emotions, and deal with this unfinished business. If we have experienced anything which has happened to us where we have felt at threat or harm – this can be physical, emotional, or psychological, again the subconscious can then look out for us to protect us from this happening again. This includes the development of defenses where we have experienced criticism or judgement and so we may withdraw; be in denial; have anger problems; learn not to trust people; have committment issues. Again counselling can help address these unconscious defence mechanisms.
Counselling and Psychotherapy
In therapy, we are often working with the subconscious mind. In the same way that repetition has meant that we have learnt things which may not be helpful, we can also re-learn and re-evaluate some of our beliefs based on a present understanding rather than on past experiences and understanding. We can help re-programme our subconscious so that it works for us in a helpful way, and hence this is why therapy can need consistent, regular attendance to create new conscious and unconscious habits and ways of being.