What Is Insight Therapy?

By Dr. Roya Sakhai

Therapists use different styles when providing therapy. Insight therapy is one style that aims to make the unconscious conscious . “Conscious thoughts” are thoughts that we are aware of, like making decisions about what to eat. The “unconscious” are thoughts that happen that we are not aware of. The unconscious may include memories, dreams, or motivations. 

Therapists who use psychodynamic psychotherapy try to help make the unconscious conscious. The goal is to look at the thoughts and feelings that many of us hide because they may be too painful. We do this because the thoughts that we “lock away” impact us even when we aren’t aware of them.

Some therapists try to make the unconscious conscious because:

  • We have thoughts and feelings that we are not aware of that can affect us.
  • They can lead to negative thoughts and behavior.
  • Noticing negative thoughts can be healing.
  • Negative thoughts or feelings can get worse if we don’t talk about them. 
  • Talking about thoughts or feelings can help us be less afraid of them.
  • We can take control of our thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

In order to understand our unconscious thoughts and feelings, we must identify them. Doing so can help us:

  • Develop new ways of thinking about yourself and the world.
  • Help your self-esteem .
  • Create new friendships or relationships.
  • Create positive ways to manage your feelings.