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The Subconscious Problem

by Terence Watts

The biggest problem with the subconscious is that it doesn't exist. It's not a 'thing'. The word was coined in the late 1880's by one Pierre Janet as a response to why people sometimes did irrational things, and often had uncomfortable thoughts.

In those days, there were no fMRI scanners, nor any method of measuring what was happening in the brain. So the made-up term 'subconscious', meaning below the level of conscious awareness, accounted for human behaviour that could not otherwise be explained. It is from the century before last, and yet most therapies still use it to describe why we have pychological problems!

So I was excited when I discovered the processes that work so successfully in BWRT (BrainWorking Recursive Therapy) - and I did discover it, not create it. I discovered the reason we are not fully in charge of our thoughts and actions: they start before we know they're starting and by the time we do know, they're already happening. It's a 'done deal'.

Some exploration into evolutionary research revealed that the early part of the brain, sometimes called Lizard Brain, Reptilian Complex, or Hindbrain was the very first brain as we know it. It still exists within us as the brainstem and cerebellum, and it has 80% of all the brain's nerve paths!

Had Pierre Janet had access to the knowledge we have today, he would almost certainly have come to the same conclusion: this part of the brain controls our entire system, our reflexes, our habits, our behaviour, our thoughts... and what goes on there has to travel through thousands of nerve paths before our conscious mind knows what's happening - and it takes time.

This early brain IS a 'thing' and so is much easier to work with, once the process is understood, than the non-existent 'subconscious'. The work of older therapies does eventually filter through (well some of it anyway) to that early part of the brain to make changes, but it can be painfully slow.

But BWRT is different - it works directly with that early brain to produce truly rapid and long-lasting (probably permanent) beneficial change.

There is a much longer and more complete exploration of this idea in this article:

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