Psychological Self-Help

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1496
stored separately from verbal awareness. That's neat, but why and
how is this done? What part of our brain decides that certain ideas and
experiences are too painful to remember? How does that part make its
judgments and then put the memories into "don't-think-about-this"
folders? The new theories substitute mysteriously functioning neuron
clusters for Freud's little censor inside our head who has advanced
warning of bad thoughts coming from our unconscious and
immediately protects our conscious selves from painful information,
memories, or urges. Not much of an advance for 100 years. In
fairness, brain functioning is a hard area to research. 
The major way used by helpers to make the unconscious conscious
is to describe what probably goes on inside our heads without our
awareness. The hope is that the helpee will overcome his/her
resistance to unconscious factors, accept the ideas as possibilities,
explore different ways of seeing their situation, and, then, try out
better ways of coping. Much of chapter 9 takes this approach. Thus, if
you are interested in learning more about unconscious processes,
please read chapter 9 before attempting to use one of the following
methods. The previous discussions of personality, games, life scripts,
childhood traumas, gender roles, chauvinism, etc. provide road maps
to what you might find in your unconscious, such as common aspects
of everyone's personality, possible hidden motives, self-deceptions,
effects of parental neglect, unseen dynamics in relationships, etc.
Reading chapter 9 is a good basis for doing more fruitful exploration
by using the methods in this chapter. 
It may, at first, seem paradoxical and impossible for a self-helper
to deal with his/her own unconscious. However, just as there are
methods for a therapist to reveal the patient's unconscious to the
patient, there are methods for you to discover your unconscious all by
yourself. That's what this chapter is about--providing you with specific
methods for increasing your insight and self-awareness. 
Like other chapters, select the most interesting and promising
methods and read the "general idea" section to see if it seems
promising. You will not be able to immediately use all these ideas;
some require a lot of time and thought. 
Becoming Open-Minded
First, as mentioned in the "Straight Thinking" section of the last
chapter, we are prone to over-simplify the causes of our behavior.
Remember the "fallacy of the single cause?" Almost every action has
many causes, perhaps 15 or 20, maybe more. It is not our custom to
think so complexly, but it may be closer to reality. Secondly, the
strength of each of the causes is probably constantly fluctuating, so
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