Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Unconscious as a Depth Error

     As I've previously discussed, I think that it is pretty easy to get behind the idea that the unconscious exists. This, I think, is the moderate view along the spectrum. one end is the aforementioned idea that the unconscious does not exist. The other is the frame of mind that holds that the unconscious is everything.
     Moderation, rather a moderate view on any idea, is, in my opinion, probably the wisest choice between two extremes. I have already talked about the "no unconscious" extreme. I think that the other can be just as negative.
     It is imperative to avoid the idea that the unconscious is a black box. Everything goes into the box, including our passions, drives, motivation, emotions, and thoughts. We are not sure what happens in this box, but what exits the box are our actions. If we take this point of view, one can easily attribute anything to the unconscious. This makes a therapist both lazy and ineffectual. It gives a therapist a demeanor of "well, we can't figure that out" or "let's dive into this," possibly resulting in another depth error.
     We need to be critical with what we attribute to the unknown unconscious and what we try to see through the lens of some other theory. The unconscious is not designed as a way out for a clinician - a way to attribute meaning where there might be none. I think that it is important to seek out other avenues of meaning before the unconscious attribution is made.

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