Saturday, November 17, 2007

Field Guide to the Subconscious

In the recent discussions about "the subconscious," I've probably made it sound like all subconsciouses are pretty much alike. In an important way, that's not true at all. The relationship between subconscious and conscious varies a lot.

I was lucky to discover, inside e and in c, a pair of subconsciouses that were happy to be discovered, eager to play, adventurous, confident, sexy -- and pleased to help their conscious halves experience even greater heights of pleasure. I've since met a few more who are like that too.

Turns out, that's not always the case.

If I can group the subconsciouses I've met so far into categories, there are three more:

* The subconscious that is just tagging along for the ride, is pretty passive, and at first isn't too interested in getting involved. I'm thinking here of a subconscious I've been texting with for more than a year, who types single-word responses, never volunteers a thing, and seems happy to follow along with the conscious person's kinks. In a couple of other cases, the subconscious has been playing a child-like role, forever watching the grownup world outside from her safe perch inside.

* A subconscious that is fed up with the conscious person and her layers of inhibitions. Words like "weakling" get thrown around. That was the case with Deborah last summer, whose subconscious called her "a bore" and performed some fairly impressive tricks to display her own lack of inhibitions. Another subconscious wanted to "show that bitch" a few things. I didn't play with her again.

* In happy contrast, the subconscious that is valiantly trying to rescue, repair or disentangle the conscious self. These are not very interested in pleasure or pain. Instead they ask me to help the conscious person overcome low confidence, distrust, weight problems and smoking. Sometimes I've been able to make some useful suggestions.

So when we're talking about "the subconscious" ... or when you're first exploring hypnosis with someone you know ... bear in mind that these personalities come in many flavors.

1 comment:

Horus said...

It' goes without saying.
I'd imagine the subconscious has as much variety in differences as people do in general.

My subject hasn't quite agreed to go under just yet, as there is a crisis in progress. (When isn't there? LOL)

I'm uncertain as to understand why, despite repeated declarations that I'm trusted. It could be that her subconscious is a tad Leary, though. She'd LIKE to try it, but she's got excuses. Of course, I'm wondering where they're coming from. :)

On a word of warning, though. I have come across some reports of hypnosis abuses out there that some therapists are stumbling across. Just like the conscious mind, the unconscious can be abused as well.

Not to steal any thunder with my warning...

Don't go digging or exploring for the possibility. You are running a high risk of creating false memories. The subconscious has this habit of creating them to fit the expectations of the Operator. An overzealous subconscious may very well create traumatic false memories. If you think something funny is going on, make a voice recording of the session and give it to a qualified therapist to evaluate and your subject. In fact, make voice recordings of all your sessions, just in case something comes up and you need help getting it untangled.

Oh, and thanks for the comment, c. ;) I'm sure I'll be able to apply what I've learned eventually. In the mean time, I'll keep digging for stuff. I'm not all that keen about NLP. Looks pretty involved. :)