You will see the words several times when you read about hypnosis: the subconscious mind is also called the unconscious mind. There have also been several different interpretations of what this “unconscious mind” is. In recent times Richard Bandler of NLP has coined the term with the meaning of “Whatever we aren’t conscious of at any given time.” It’s only a term that’s used because it enables us to describe different phenomena about human beings. At this very moment, your heart is beating (or else it would be hard for you to read this), you breathe at regular intervals, and you see and interpret this text without actually knowing how you do it—all these functions out of your conscious awareness.
In the unconscious part of our mind, we build our model of the world. A model that is different from anyone else, a model that has a lot in common with members of our close family, since it is built in terms of the way we are brought up and our experiences. These models of the world we carry around will result in beliefs about certain things; it contains a lot of constraints to allow us to function around other human beings and engage in social activity with them.
Sometimes we carry around some very limiting beliefs, often hypnotically installed by well-intentioned parents or family members. When such thoughts are unconscious, they are hard to challenge and prevent you from achieving the things you want. It may be a teacher who told you that “You will never be able to spell like the others.” Believe it or not, such things said to a child by an authoritative figure can result in spelling problems throughout the child’s whole life.
Somehow, the hypnotic state of mind allows you to access the unconscious mind, discover previous experiences, and reinterpret them with all the knowledge you have acquired since. These are some of the essences of change work with hypnosis. The conclusion is that there is no such actual thing as an unconscious mind, but it’s a term that enables us to distinguish things that aren’t readily available to the consciousness from everything else.