Sigmund Freud first presented an iceberg model as a visual representation of the mind. Freud's representation of the iceberg was later revisited by other psychologists such as Carl Jung.
Our representation divides the mind in three parts:
- Conscious part of the mind is represented by the part of the iceberg above the surface of the ocean. Its content keeps changing from moment to moment. What we now have in our conscious mind slips from it and is replaced by something else. But we are conscious of one thing only at any given instant. It is the smallest of the three parts of the mind.
- Subconscious or semiconscious part is represented by the part of the iceberg immediately below the surface of the ocean. It continually is the recipient of the content of the conscious mind that slips out of it. It also is the source of the new content of the conscious mind. Thus, there is interactivity between the conscious and the unconscious going on at all times. The conscious may also at will dive into the subconscious for particular information that it lost some time ago.
- Unconscious part of the mind is represented by the part of the iceberg deep below the surface of the ocean. Its content is practically irretrievable by the conscious and it acts mostly in an autonomous manner. It continually interacts back and forth with the deepest layers of the subconscious.