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Oh My Mind!

Image of young child holding face of a newborn. Raleigh Psychotherapy, counseling, Mind, Katherine Broadway

Why do I care about the parts of the mind? The idea of Id, Ego and Super Ego have become so familiar as to be laughable. It seems that these concepts are nothing but psycho-babble; yet, they have an important role in our lives. They work together to help us run our lives in a productive way. Therefore, we need to understand them so that we can use these parts of ourselves to our best advantage.

Ruth wants to get to work on time, but finds hitting the snooze too pleasurable to resist. Morgan knows it’s time to do the yard work, but the game on TV is just too exciting. Mona's doctor said her cholesterol is high and she needs to cut back on fats, but eating french fries makes her happy. All three of these people know what they need to do, and even want to do it, yet each finds the pleasure of what they are doing irresistible. They each choose the pleasure over the change.

We have all had the experience of doing what we did not want to do, and of not

doing that which we want do. This happens because the parts of ourselves are

not communicating and working together. Perhaps we can find the answer in a closer look at the Id, Ego and Super Ego. Each embodies a concept that brings value to our everyday lives. Putting these concepts into everyday language can help us understand ourselves and thereby give us the tools to make choices around how we respond to ourselves.

For now, call the Id “desires and needs”; the Ego is our conscious self and the Super Ego is our conscience.

The Id

The Id is made up of unconscious energy that works to satisfy basic urges, needs and desires.

Inside of each of us there are desires and needs and an energy that pushes us to fulfill these desires no matter what it takes or what the cost. That energy is the Id. It does not care what else happens as long it gets what it wants. No price is too high, which can lead to destruction of self and others. This part of you lives for pleasure alone.

However, it also provides a significant value to our lives. We cannot simply eradicate it because the Id is also the source and center of our creativity and energy. This is where our drive to live, grow and achieve resides. Without it, we cannot know what we want in life or what we need to achieve our goals.

The Ego

The Ego is the part of ourselves of which we are aware. It is our organized logic, reasoning and conscious decision-making self. The Ego’s job is to manage the Id.

The Ego manages our desires, needs, urges and energy. Then it works to align those desires with reality, satisfying as many as possible along the way. It is our mental capacity which supervises all our processes.

Think about having your favorite snack food in the house. The Id says, "Those taste good--have some anytime you want." The Ego steps in to say, "That doesn't work if you want to be healthy, but you can limit yourself and have it occasionally." The Ego manages the Id.

The Super Ego

The Super Ego is our conscience. The Super Ego is developed as we learn

what is right and wrong in our family. It includes lessons from all the important adults in our lives. The Super ego contains the rules by which we are to live and was written inside of us before we had the ability to choose what we believed. It is the moral conscious and the ideal self to which one is to aspire. It is strict and uncompromising.

As you can see, each part has a valuable role to play in our lives, yet none can stand alone.

Desire needs the logic and reasonable self to control and direct the passions, desires, creativity and energy.

The self needs the conscience to establish the rules by which the self will live, both for the good of the self and the good of others.

The conscience needs the self and desire in order to modify its strict standards. That leads to standards that are reasonable and achievable while leaving room for pleasure and fun. After all, all work and no play makes us dull,

lethargic and depressed.

Desire, when used in moderation, makes life exciting and fun.

Reality has a way of bumping up against our cherished desires. We begin life

believing we can have what we desire with little to no effort or cost. Reality will soon teach us that there is a cost to everything. Ego tells us that there is a cost and gives us the ability to make decisions about what we are willing to pay for the things we want. Do you want to learn more about your mind and how it works? Call me I can help you learn more. Katherine (919)881-2001

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