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ARTICLES:

The Connection Between Childhood Experiences And Adult Problems

As an adult psychiatrist, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about childhood, and there's a good reason for this. It's become abundantly clear over the past 20-plus years of doing psychotherapy that childhood experiences are at the root of adult problems.

Every person who's walked through my office door suffering from depression, anxiety, relationship or work problems, low self-esteem or addiction has a history of some type of adversity in their childhood. It's become clear to me by listening to their stories that were it not for these painful events, the person wouldn't be struggling as much as they are, today.

When we look at a young child who's beginning to show signs of emotional disturbance or behavioural issues, what we're seeing is that something has happened to them, or something is happening, that is causing them the beginnings of a problem.

If we're to do the best for our children, we have to understand the basic emotional necessities of childhood and the types of events that are likely to cause a child difficulties, now and in the future.

Whether we're dealing with a child who seems mostly well-adjusted in the moment, or one who's begun to exhibit signs of more significant dysfunction, those of us in the helping fields want to do everything we can to optimize the child's emotional and psychological well-being so as to prevent future problems.

If we're to do the best for our children, we have to understand the basic emotional necessities of childhood and the types of events that are likely to cause a child difficulties, now and in the future.

When it comes to the necessities of childhood, we have to remember that perfect parenting is neither necessary nor possible. A child just needs, as the British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott so aptly put it, "good enough parenting."

Good enough parenting means that the child is loved and valued for who they are, not for how they behave, and the child is nurtured, cared for and protected, but not coddled. In fact, the "good enough" parent allows the child to be disappointed and frustrated at times, so that they learn to tolerate and cope with these types of experiences in adulthood.

And interestingly, "good enough parenting" also applies to the other adults in a child's life; the adults who teach, guide and support the child. Each one of these adults has an important role to play in the child's development and emotional well-being.

When we think about the experiences that lead to difficulties in childhood and beyond, there are two distinct types: the absence of certain necessities or the presence of hurtful events.

Children need to feel important, but not so important that their agenda supersedes that of the parent. Overly-permissive parents who indulge their children are depriving them of the guidance and limits they need in order to develop appropriately and function optimally as adults.

Love, affirmation, guidance, protection and limits: these are the necessities of childhood. When a child is raised with all of these things, they're far more likely to grow into high-functioning adults with good confidence and self worth, who have constructive coping strategies in difficult times.

When we think about the experiences that lead to difficulties in childhood and beyond, there are two distinct types: the absence of certain necessities or the presence of hurtful events.

If a child is neglected; if they're not praised enough -- perhaps from a parent's misguided notion that this will give them a "swelled head" -- or if they're not encouraged to do things, the child will grow up with a lack of confidence and self-worth.

Children take things personally, so what they experience informs their identity.

If part of the neglect includes a lack of protection from hurtful experiences, the child will grow up feeling helpless, worthless -- because they'll start to see themselves as not entitled to protection -- and perhaps even deserving of harm. Children take things personally, so what they experience informs their identity. Love them, and they feel good about themselves; neglect them, and they feel bad.

In terms of adverse events that happen to a child, these experiences can take many forms: a child can be emotionally hurt or abused through harsh criticism, shaming, blaming or the instilling of guilt; they can be physically assaulted via overly harsh corporal punishment or beatings with fists, belts or other objects, or they can be sexually abused.

The child can have an overly-controlling or perfectionist parent; a narcissistic parent who expects the child to excel so that the parent can feel good about themselves, or a parent who competes with their child because they're threatened by the child's youth and promise.

A child can be picked on, bullied, made fun of or taken advantage of. They can be ostracized and isolated by those around them, and made to feel worthless and useless.

These experiences can occur at home, at school, during extra-curricular activities or in play-time. Parents, siblings, relatives, friends, teachers, coaches, even members of the clergy can be responsible for hurting a child. Sometimes, more than one person is doing so, which of course adds to the child's current and future emotional difficulties.

There's another, more subtle way a child can be hurt, and this is when one or both parents make the child responsible for tasks that they're too young to manage. This makes the child feel incompetent and inadequate and often filled with shame for "failing" at tasks that developmentally, they're not expected to know how to accomplish.

These types of tasks can include being made to care for younger siblings or managing the household at a very young age; being put in the role of parental confidante; being thrust into the position of mediator between fighting parents; being responsible for the family's finances, or being pressured to perform at school, in their hobbies (for example, performing arts, spelling bees or math competitions) or in individual or team sports at a level that is beyond them, or not what they themselves want to do.

Sometimes, it's not the parents who expect too much from a child; it can be a teacher, a coach or anyone else who is pushing a child beyond the limits of their ability. There's a fine line between encouraging a child to do their best and making a child feel oppressed by adult expectations. Encouragement and support will most likely bring out the best in a child, but pushing them too hard could cause them to have emotional problems.

If we want to protect our children from harm and prevent current and future difficulties, we need to be aware of the ways in which a child's self-confidence, self-worth, sense of optimism and ability to function can be compromised.

Some hurtful experiences come from other types of family stressors; for example, when one of the parents or a sibling becomes ill or dies; when one or both parents are very young and ill-equipped to handle being a parent; when a parent is suffering from mental illness and their symptoms are expressed in bizarre or unpredictable behaviour toward their children; when parents are dealing with other difficulties such as work stress, financial problems, crises in the extended family, serious addictions or a troubled marriage.

All of the above are experiences which will have a negative impact on a developing child. If we want to protect our children from harm and prevent current and future difficulties, we need to be aware of the ways in which a child's self-confidence, self-worth, sense of optimism and ability to function can be compromised.

When we see signs of dysfunction or disturbance in a young child, such as excessive anger, sleep refusal, acting out, defiance, compulsive behaviours, destructive behaviour toward themselves or others, truancy, school failure, agitation or moodiness, we need to search carefully for the roots of this behaviour and as much as possible, address the problem immediately, so as to improve things for the child, now and for the future.

 

 

Fear-Less. Its possible. So many of us carry fear with us like an old package that we have always carried. We do not know why we have carried it. Only that we may have always carried it. One day, today maybe, we really start to look at that old bundle and slowly unwrap it to gaze at what is inside. We take out the false feelings and the fake objects that lay deep within the package and we throw those things into the light on the table in front of us and really start to see them for the first time. We can see now that they have no power over us. That they are not real. That they never have been real. Then we can fear-less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LINKS:

Good Documentary - watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-VLHNpwju0

How to release old attachments to past relationships- read:
https://www.powerofpositivity.com/how-to-release-attachments-to-old-relationships/

How to Cut Etheric Cords: A Ritual You Need to Know
http://foreverconscious.com/how-to-cut-etheric-cords-a-ritual-you-need-to-know

 

Richard Hersley - Bio
Richard has provided 12 Step and personal counseling and support to individuals and families experiencing addictions for over 18 years. This includes confidential individual, family and group counseling about the causes and effects of addictions and support for families dealing with addictions and/or referrals to treatment for individuals requesting this opportunity.(more)

 

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6 Basic Human Needs Everyone Should Understand

By  on April 7, 2016

According to Anthony Robbins, there are six fundamental psychological ‘needs’ that every person on earth is constantly working to satisfy, fulfill and achieve on a subconscious level.  They affect everything, from our strongest motivations to how we prioritize our decisions and actions.

Here are the six basic human needs:

Certainty

Achieving a sense of security and stability in our lives is one of our fundamental needs.  This is because security ensures a higher chance of passing on our DNA.  This is why everyone usually has the basics covered, like a roof over our heads, taking care of bills on time, and taking caution in our outward pursuits and relationships.  

The best way to achieve security in an ever-changing world is to know who you are, and accept change as one of the only certain things in life.

Variety

Just as we value security and stability, we also value uncertainty and fluidity.  Times of change and uncertainty allow us to grow more into the person we really are.  We often thrust ourselves into worlds of change and uncertainty in order to experience how we operate and who we become during these times.  Letting go of certainty when we need to is liberating.

Significance

The third human need is the need to be validated by those around us.  We need our peers to see the significance in what we do and who we are.  This validation tells us that we are not alone, that we are part of the big picture, and that our part in that picture is significant.  Fulfilling this need for significance is key to building a sense of identity.

Love & Connection

The need to belong and the need to not only be loved by others, but to love others is fundamental to our feeling fulfilled.  Connecting with other living creatures allows us to share that significance that we so longingly sought for ourselves.  We naturally move from wanting to fulfill ourselves to wanting to fulfill the lives of others.  

The best way to do this, however, is by first taking the time to connect with and love who you yourself are; once you’ve done this, your love will naturally diffuse out to others, allowing you to form a genuine connection and love between the two of you.

Growth

Growth is the fundamental core of practically of living being on Earth.  If we’re not growing, then we’re not living, we’re simply existing.  Without growth, there is only stagnation.  Growth is both inherently dependant upon the first four human needs while also fueling them.  

Growth is what brings life into each area that we exist.  One of the biggest parts of fulfilling this need is recognizing that growth takes time, that it is a journey that you can only take once you accept the realities of your world.

Contribution

The sixth and final human need focuses largely on taking the fulfillment and power that we have gained for ourselves, and then using it in ways that help others achieve fulfillment in their own lives.  

The desire to contribute to these other worlds occurs naturally once we have achieved the previous five needs.  Many of us would like to think that we’re leaving behind something good for the world once we’ve passed.  We want our time on Earth to have been significant, and when we feel that it is, we feel that we can continue to benefit others even when we’re gone.  

Don’t assume that you will achieve each of these needs in this specific order, as all of us value different needs at different times in our lives for a variety of different reasons.  However, we will achieve some sort of balance between all six as we move toward a successful, happy and fulfilling life.

 

 

Fear-Less.NetFEAR - Fear is a feeling induced by perceived danger or threat that occurs in certain types of organisms, which causes a change in metabolic and organ functions and ultimately a change in behavior, such as fleeing, hiding, or freezing from perceived traumatic events. Fear in human beings may occur in response to a specific stimulus. - more

 
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