“Why do I need to talk about my childhood?”
This is a question I often get asked by clients first entering counselling.
“I survived” a client once said to me with a big shrug, “why does it matter, let’s move on”.
The reason therapists are so interested in childhood is because it is where we develop our values and sense of self.
As we unravel it, we begin to see why we are the way we are and able to see the roots to some of our behaviours and how they might have developed.
Very few people have a perfect childhood, if we get the unconditional love and attention we need from our primary care giver we mostly muddle through, knowing we are safe and loved.
Sadly many of my clients did not get this safe childhood we all need so much to develop a good sense of self. They were told they would be loved if they behaved or pushed down their feelings; they were loved conditionally.
We learn to adapt ourselves to secure that love and this may mean pushing down our own needs.
So by examining our childhood with the eyes of an adult we can begin to feel love and compassion for that child who thought this was normal.
We begin to forgive ourselves for behaviours we learnt to survive our childhood angst and sadness.
We may have survived childhood, but now as adults we want to thrive and that means examining our past with honesty and compassion.
In therapy we often explore the relationship we have with our childhood and the child that still resides in all of us. By exploring this we can begin to heal that childhood, feel compassion for ourselves and very importantly; become the parent for ourselves that we may not have had, we call this ‘reparenting’.
If you feel your childhood is holding you back, do come in to therapy and see if we can resolve this this together.