Psychological Self-Help

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out of awareness) and good-caring-achieving drives (mostly in our
awareness) are constantly competing for expression in all of us. 
Regardless of whether our basic nature is good or evil, it is obvious
that many cognitive processes occur without our awareness, e.g. our
unique perception of the situation, our specific memories brought to
mind by the circumstances, our idiosyncratic explanation of events and
feelings about them, etc. We are not able to perceive how mental
events (our perception, learning, memory) occur--but not knowing
how our mind works isn't the same as being unaware of our hostility
that everyone else can sense. Also, a distinction needs to be made
between driving a car automatically (without conscious effort) and
being unaware that our political opinion on some issue is self-serving.
Only the latter self-protective deception (where our sense of justice is
influenced by selfish needs), not the driving, is ordinarily considered
an unconscious process. In short, implied in the notion of an
unconscious process is some unpleasant force influencing the person
but hidden from him/her. Still, there are two conceptions of what kind
of "forces" get pushed into our self-protective unconscious: impulses,
feelings, thoughts, motives, or acts that are (1) aggressively mean,
selfish, sexually immoral, nasty, and humiliating (Freud's unconscious)
or (2) uncomfortable, stressful, and embarrassing because they would
expose our weaknesses, problems, selfishness, or denial, and force us
to get in touch with our anxiety (cognitive unconscious). 
So, in any case, it isn't surprising that people resist looking into
their unconscious. How about you? Surely, it is a little scary, even
though you are curious. Freud thought people in the Victorian era were
very afraid of and repulsed by his ideas, such as the sexual interests of
children. (Even today, the sexuality of children is vigorously denied by
adults, partly because of the epidemic of sexual abuse. Of course, the
adult abuser is totally responsible but that doesn't prove that children
are never interested in sexual play.) Many people resist getting to
know their true selves. There is even a prejudice against people who
have been in psychotherapy. Perhaps there should be a bias in favor of
the intelligent, courageous people who seek to "explore and straighten
out their minds." But heaven help the presidential or vice-presidential
candidate who admits he/she has been in therapy. That bias is naive!
We might do better if we required candidates for high office to have
had therapy (or prove he/she has never needed it!). Avoiding frank
honesty with oneself does not occur just among the naive, pure-and-
innocent, and overly-religious types but, according to Bertram Karon,
it is a factor in drug-oriented psychiatrists who avoid doing
psychotherapy, in research-oriented academic psychologists who bad
mouth psychotherapy, in patients and their parents who see mental
illness as a chemical imbalance, and in many other circumstances.
Even some insight-oriented psychotherapists may fear understanding
their patients and, then, seeing themselves in their patients
(DeAngelis, 1988). But most therapists are insightful. If you want to
( , try this site by Dr. Bennett
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