At night, however, the "subconscious mind" goes to work, and it is in the child's sleep state that his subconscious mind knows there is a locked box with painful thoughts in it and wants to unlock it because it is the secrets that we keep from ourselves that plague us in our awake state/during the day in ways that we do not realize. Because the conscious mind (the day mind) keeps putting the feelings in the box that he has not figured out how to cope with, has not discussed his feelings about or has not come up with a solution for the problem(s), it is the subconscious mind that is trying to figure out a creative way to open up the box and address the issues.
Dr Karen Explains... By Karen Ruskin, PsyD Night Terrors Children there is a locked box with painful explorative journey of helping the that ex- thoughts in it and wants to unlock child to uncover what he may be perience it because it is the secrets that we locking away, address the problem, night ter- keep from ourselves that plague us confront the problem, and come rors, also called “sleep terror disor- in our awake state/during the day up with solutions and/or coping der,” experience intense fear as well in ways that we do not realize. methods. By involving the parents as rapid breathing and sweating, with this process it helps educate and are often unresponsive to the Because the conscious mind (the them about what the child is feel- efforts of others to comfort them day mind) keeps putting the feel- ing and allows the child to feel he during the episode. Typically the ings in the box that he has not can then turn to his parents when child does not remember the dream figured out how to cope with, has he is experiencing emotional pain. and there is amnesia for the entire not discussed his feelings about or As a family therapist, I am all for episode. In essence, the child does has not come up with a solution for educating one’s child and parents not know he has night terrors. the problem(s), it is the subcon- about the mind. The more a child scious mind that is trying to figure understands, the more he is able to Parents of children that have night out a creative way to open up the cope effectively since he is armed terrors are often told not to tell box and address the issues. One with knowledge. It is in the aware- their child that he is having night creative solution results in night ness a child has by day that a child terrors so as to not scare their child terrors. I explain to the family that can rest by night. or to negatively effect their child’s the best way to resolve the night You can call your insurance directly concentration on typical day-to-day terrors and experience a healthy and request a list of providers in thoughts and activities. I disagree life is to confront what is bothering the network that are either a child with this advice and think it is the child by “unlocking the box.” psychologist, a marriage and family imperative that you talk with your therapist, or a social worker that child
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