Unconscious conflict can be like an undertow--pulling you under and preventing you from accepting responsibility, producing creative work, taking in information, or completing tasks. For example, not being able to finish things can be an unconscious way of holding on to a depressed mother while finishing represents losing her. Conflicts get displaced onto situations or people that seem to have no relationship to the original source of the conflict and that makes it difficult to connect problems at work or school with the underlying issue.