Monday, August 30, 2021

Helping our patients to be more aware of our “autopilot” subconscious mind

Psychologist Kahneman described System 1 and System 2 thinking.

System 1 is “fasting thinking” and has “cognitive ease”. It’s intuitive and “feeling” based.

System 2 is slower and requires more effort and conscious thoughts or “thinking”.

If we are to use a simple metaphor, we can view System 1 like our autopilot, and our System 2 as our pilot.

Autopilot is very helpful. It helps with “cognitive ease”. However, if it’s flawed with multiple biases, we are in trouble.

Pilot is also very helpful, but if used without the autopilot, it may get overly fatigued with “overthinking”.

The ideal way is to be aware of both systems perhaps. Take time to know its strengths and limitations, and use our “pilot system 2” to override, or to change/update the settings of “autopilot system 1” over time for better adaptability. This may help us to get to the right destination and with more cognitive ease. This is in essence what counseling is trying to achieve.

The real question are, are we heading towards our preferred destination?

Are our “autopilot system 1s” updated to our preferred setting?

Do we even know what our preferred settings are?

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