Unconscious dynamics are like "mental maps"
Over time, we develop more nuanced understandings and expectations of others in relationships, and these experiences further refine the maps we use in order to make them more reliable and guide us through the world more adaptively. As we develop, these unconscious mental maps are ready at hand to guide us when confronted with various situations and circumstances we encounter later. Moreover, our minds are so adept at creating mental maps that we need never to have encountered a situation specifically like this one in order to know to be cautious. People and situations need to be only marginally similar to those of our past in order for our maps to kick in and influence our perceptions, feelings, and actions. All of this can happen without a moment’s conscious reflection, and we are often safer, make decisions more efficiently, and are often happier for it.
How our mental maps cause problems
Updating our maps
Often times, we discover that our maps are out of date by ending up in the wrong places over and over again. This is when the knowledge and skill of a trusted companion can help us on our journey by helping us develop new maps that more closely match the new terrain. A therapist trained in working with unconscious dynamics is critical to achieving these types of changes. Psychodynamic therapy (or psychoanalysis) is a type of therapy that focuses on exploring these types of unconscious dynamics, and a psychodynamically trained therapist can help you identify your "mental maps" and the ways they have come to influence your way of being in the world in order to help you modify them and live a life that is more full, enriched, and rewarding.
 Siegel, D. (1999). The developing mind: toward a neurobiology of interpersonal experience. New York: The Guilford Press.