People often wonder why they keep finding themselves in dysfunctional relationship after dysfunctional relationship. This is often very distressing for people, especially when they promise themselves that their next relationship will be much better and healthier. Likewise, they may wonder why they do things as a parent that they found upsetting when their parents did it to them and feel guilty about it. They may also wonder why they keep having similar negative experiences with bosses at work. The answer to these repetitive patterns is generally explained in psychoanalytic theory by the concept of the dynamic unconscious. Whilst the concept of the dynamic unconscious was popularised by Sigmund Freud, the idea is older than Freud. Psychoanalytic/psychodynamic psychotherapy and psychoanalysis tries to help people look at what might be motivating these repetitive patterns by the therapist and client/patient working together in a collaborative manner to understand these patterns in terms of the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind cannot be observed directly, so the therapist and client/patient look for what is in the unconscious mind, by looking at how the unconscious reveals itself. This is often in the form of repetitive patterns, mistakes, dreams, symptoms, emotions, daydreams, fantasies, and other experiences that might seem unusual. In the following video, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr Chris Heath explains a little about repetitive patterns and the dynamic unconscious.