People often fear the darker and more irrational sides of themselves. At times we find that we have certain experiences and feel various emotions that may surprise, shock, and even overwhelm us. At these times we can feel confused and even afraid and want to avoid and distance ourselves from these feelings and experiences. Other times we may find ourselves preoccupied by certain things that don't make sense to us, and it can be hard to know why this thing preoccupies us so much. We may also find ourselves suddenly attracted to someone and be confused as to why this is. These experiences come from the unconscious parts of ourselves. We call this the unconscious because it is something that is not conscious. In other words, we are not conscious of what is going on within ourselves or why we have done something. The unconscious does not tell us what it is but, what it is not. This is why it is called the unconscious, in other words not conscious. It is all the parts of us that we don't clearly identify with or only marginally identify with. We can't know it directly, but we can infer what is in it via the things it produces, such as: emotions, dreams, accidents, slips of the tongue, psychological symptoms, and various experiences in relationships. It is often by getting to know more about these parts of ourselves that may confuse, frustrate, or even frighten us that we can get a better handle on ourselves, accept ourselves with all of our complexity, and feel free and feel better. Unfortunately, this work can be painful at times, but ultimately it pays off. So don't fear the darker and more irrational sides of yourself, get to know it and it can work for you instead of against you. This is where psychoanalytic psychotherapy can help. In the video below psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Dr Chris Heath talks about what lurks beneath the surface in the unconscious mind.