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Unconscious Conflicts

One of the problematic consequences of the ability and necessity (!) of the psychological system to divide itself into conscious and unconscious is, that opposing impulses are coupled in an unconscious process and can, in a manner of speaking, ‘fight’ with each other. When a need is repeatedly experienced with simultaneous, painful sensations, (e.g. the mother has no time for the child’s need for closeness and without noticing, leaves it alone), then, in the child, the sense of his need for closeness is coupled with the fear of experiencing pain. In the brain physiology, too, this pattern is formed: neurons wire together, if they fire together. The conditions of tension which are created when one desires something, but at the same time is afraid of it, remain, however. They are no longer noticed, however. Subsequently, though, such unconscious conflicts have many consequences: they limit self-control, because one does not know or feel anything about it. Furthermore, they limit well-being, because one avoids this need or because one cannot satisfy it appropriately. This leads to unfavourable substitute needs and actions, which do not really satisfy. Also, it requires a lot of control to keep this whole process unconscious. Ultimately, the permanent tension in the psyche as a result of this, can lead to chronic tension areas in the body, which have great potential to lead to diverse, psycho-somatic symptoms (back problems, migraine, bowel irritations, stiff joints due to chronic tension etc.).

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