What Is In The Mind?

What Is In The Mind?

Human mind comprises of Conscious, Subconscious and Unconscious states. Famous Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud came up with the concept of the state of mind. Sigmund Freud is the founder of 'Psychoanalytic Theory'. His ideas and discoveries were shocking to the people at that time and also raised a lot of controversy and debates. Freud compared human mind to an Iceberg. Freud gave an example of the 'Submerged Iceberg' to explain the concept of conscious, preconscious and unconscious. The innermost part of the iceberg which is submerged is the unconscious mind which an individual is not aware of. This state of mind is not visible as it is unseen below the waterline. The part of the iceberg which is above the water is meant to be the conscious state of mind. It is the part of the mind which an individual is perfectly aware of. The preconscious is associated with a part of the mind below the level of immediate conscious awareness, from which memories and emotions that have not been repressed can be recalled and above the unconscious level of mind. It is the part which is still visible under the water. These three levels are also known as the 'Levels of Awareness'. This theory was given by Freud in order to understand how these three elements contribute in human behavior and thoughts through various experiences.

Talking about the conscious state of mind where an individual is totally aware of the experiences faced by them at any given point of time. It is one of the aspect of thought processing in order to think rationally. This part of the mind includes memories which one is not totally aware of but can reach out and retrieve those memories into consciousness whenever necessary. The unconscious state of mind is a huge bundle of feelings, emotions, thoughts, memories, urges which are not a part of the conscious awareness. This part of the mind also includes unpleasant feelings, pain, hurt, anxiety, conflicts, negative emotions and thoughts.

Freud believed that the unconscious mind is largely unconscious inaccessible. At times there are possibilities that the thoughts which are in the unconscious mind can bubble up unexpectedly and one can experience those thoughts through dreams or slip of tongue. While one would believe that a slip of tongue might be just a simple error but Fred believed that it is the intrusion of the unconscious mind into the conscious mind. This can happen due to uncertain feelings or conflicts or also repressed emotions. This slip of tongue is famously known as 'Freudian Slip'.

The Unconscious can include repressed feelings, hidden memories, thoughts, desires, and reactions. Memories and emotions that are too painful, embarrassing, shameful, or distressing which are challenging or difficult to face consciously are stored in the enormous reservoir that makes up the unconscious mind. Freud came up with techniques like ‘Dream analysis’ and ‘Free association’ (includes random thoughts)  in order to understand and identify the roots of psychological distress one goes through. This was done to bring the true feelings to the surface and be able to face them upfront and consciously.

Sigmund Freud proposed another theory along with the three states of mind that is the 'Personality theory', where the human psyche is structured into three parts. The structure includes id, ego and superego which develop in all the stages of life. These are not parts of brain but known as the systems. According to the Freudian Psychoanalytical theory, id is the primitive part of the mind where all the sexual drives, desires, aggressive drives and hidden memories. It contains the biological elements of the personality. Id is meant to be the impulsive part of the psyche which responds and reacts immediately to basic desires or urges. Id is important in early life to fulfill an infant's needs. The Ego works as a mediate between the id and the external real world. The ego is the part of the personality which works on reasons and logic whereas the id works unreasonable and is also chaotic. Ego works as the decision making element of the personality. The 'superego's' controls the id's impulses. It also encourages the ego to turn towards moral goals rather than realistic ones and looking for perfection. The superego is present in all the states of mind, conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The superego has two underlying elements: the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience includes information about things that are viewed as bad in the society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt. The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for the desires or behaviors which the ego aspires. Ego works as the decision making element of the personality. The 'superego's' controls the id's impulses. It also encourages the ego to turn towards moral goals rather than realistic ones and looking for perfection. The superego is present in all the states of mind, conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The superego has two underlying elements: the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience includes information about things that are viewed as bad in the society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt. The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for the desires or behaviors which the ego aspires. Ego works as the decision making element of the personality. The 'superego's' controls the id's impulses. It also encourages the ego to turn towards moral goals rather than realistic ones and looking for perfection. The superego is present in all the states of mind, conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The superego has two underlying elements: the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience includes information about things that are viewed as bad in the society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt. The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for the desires or behaviors which the ego aspires. It also encourages the ego to turn towards moral goals rather than realistic ones and looking for perfection. The superego is present in all the states of mind, conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The superego has two underlying elements: the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience includes information about things that are viewed as bad in the society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt. The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for the desires or behaviors which the ego aspires. It also encourages the ego to turn towards moral goals rather than realistic ones and looking for perfection. The superego is present in all the states of mind, conscious, preconscious, and unconscious. The superego has two underlying elements: the conscience and the ego ideal. The conscience includes information about things that are viewed as bad in the society. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt. The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for the desires or behaviors which the ego aspires. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt. The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for the desires or behaviors which the ego aspires. These behaviors are often forbidden and lead to bad consequences, punishments, or feelings of guilt. The ego ideal includes the rules and standards for the desires or behaviors which the ego aspires.

The theories given by Sigmund Freud were not all appreciated at his time. There was a lot of criticism towards his theories and his ideas. Later after researches and studies, his theories are taken into consideration for therapeutic purposes as well as intervention strategies.

About the Author

Sharmishtha Chakraborty
Counselling Psychologist.

I, Sharmishtha Chakraborty am a Counselling Psychologist by profession. I have completed my Master's in Counselling

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