Most of us have psychological difficulties of one kind or another in life. Some may be more severe than others. Often, for example, we may repeatedly do things we don't want to do; we may have sexual problems; or perhaps we are angry; or 'afraid' to be with other people. It is a fact of life that psychological blocks - relational difficulties, obsessions and complusions- exist.
Where do these seemingly irrational thoughts, behaviors, and feelings come from?
Sigmund Freud, the creator of psychoanalysis, studied the problem of mental phenomena in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He was a brilliant investigator, and a prodigious writer of his findings. He is a figure of prime importance for his discovery of the unconscious component of the human mind. He argued that conscious events and choices are often determined by unconscious forces.
The unconscious component of the mind doesn't distinguish between PRESENT experiences and emotional memories from the PAST. We react to present reality through past experiences and beliefs. This is one of the most elementary priciples of psychology, and to deny it as foolish as insisting that the world is flat!
The way impressions are absorbed by the human mind has much in common with the way videotape absorbs what it 'sees'. But in the case of the latter, one may edit (or erase/re-record) the contents to one's satisfaction on the spot using an editing tool. This may be done with very little effort.
But what is on the first 'recorded'- unconscious- impressions of a human mind? Our Infant link describes what happens. Do these 'tapes' cause problems? They might. Our Adult link explores this question.
The balance of power amongst unconscious forces may be of a negative, rather than relatively positive nature. A negative balance may interfere with one's life drives, goals, desires. Psychoanalysis is, if you like, an editing tool used in an attempt to change that negative balance. The tape itself cannot be erased. For more of an introduction to psychoanalysis, go to the next link in this section: Freud.