Woman programming digital brain

Defrag your mind

In Coaching, Counselling and Personal Development, Insight and Experience, Mind and Movement by Helen WaylandLeave a Comment

If you think of your brain as a supercomputer, the conscious mind is merely the screen, and the unconscious mind is the operating system. Just think: what could you achieve if you could access every resource in the operating system?


The brain is a constantly changing and updating organism. We know this with recent research and understanding into the way our neural pathways update themselves. (See Norman Doidge’s excellent book, The Brain That Changes Itself, for mind-blowing examples of brain plasticity, as it is now known.)

What has been known for longer is that this eternally updating brain has a positive leaning. It’s always looking for a more beneficial and efficient way to run. Carl Rogers called this the “self actualising tendency”. As a potato sprout grows towards the sunlight, even if the potato is in a dark cellar, so too does our psyche seek a better way to be. What if we could tap into this self-actualising tendency and gain the power of the supercomputer to help us achieve the goals we want?

Even the best operating system can develop a glitch

Psychiatrists have for centuries looked for ways to describe the vast unknown of our unconscious minds. Freud thought of the mind as an iceberg, the vast majority under the surface in the ‘water’ of unconsciousness. Jung used the metaphor of the island, with the vast majority…you get the picture. With modern technology comes a more modern metaphor, that of the computer. The conscious mind, which is itself pretty impressive in size and scope, represents just the computer screen in terms of capability. The vast operating system is the unconscious. And how do we access that? How do we set up shortcuts from the screen to the program, in the same way that Apple invented the cute icon we now take for granted on all kinds of computers, that we click to take us through to the word processing program, the mail program, the internet?

What happens if there’s a glitch in the system?

Taking this analogy further, what if there is a faulty link that has been created in childhood or adulthood, that takes us to the wrong place? We click on the link to booking an overseas holiday, and it links us to fear of flying. We click on the link to getting pregnant and it takes us to fear of being a good parent, or of doubts about our fertility. We click on the link to presenting our brilliant concept to the world and just get negative comments from some old tape that’s playing in the mind.

Hypnosis – the way to the mainframe

One way to defrag the system, clear out the faulty links, and gain access to the vast resources of the unconscious mind is by using hypnosis. Hypnosis is simply a focused and relaxed state that allows the machinery to be worked on, faulty programs to be deleted and positive programs to be rebooted in ways that allow new connections, new ways of being, new opportunities to self-actualise.

And in the same way that you wouldn’t prise the back off your computer and try to fix it yourself, you need to outsource this work to a professional; someone who is trained in the art of working with the operating system – who will carefully listen to you as you explain the problems that exist in your life, the opportunities you wish to create for yourself, and the time frame you envisage for getting there; someone who can help you gently change for the better, with a fully updated and rebooted operating system.

Helen Wayland is a clinical hypnotherapist, personal counsellor and coach working in St. Kilda, Melbourne.

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