We all long to feel loved and accepted for who we are. To be seen and comforted in our distress feels soothing and deeply affirming. Emotional support like this is a good sign of secure attachment. When you know your wellbeing matters to someone, that’s another mark of secure attachment.
Childhood is a critical time for learning and experiencing secure attachment. Our earliest relationships do a great deal to establish our sense of self and wellbeing. Knowing, “I matter, my needs matter, and my loved ones will help keep me safe” affirms a child’s sense of self-worth.
Do you ever feel like you need a friend’s support? But then stop yourself from reaching out?
We know that good relationships are so important to our happiness, yet we may not know just how vital they are to our health and well-being.
What do our connections to others give us? And what happens when we don’t have them?
Many people struggle to take a compliment. It doesn’t matter if the compliment comes from a loved one, a stranger, or a trusted source, like a therapist. The struggle goes much deeper than manners, modesty, or cultural norms.
I’m talking about the inability to accept what therapists call positive affect. The issue for some is about feeling, deep down, that you don’t deserve it, that you can’t believe it, that as a person you are not worthy, and that you can’t allow or take in the experience of feeling good about yourself, or even believing someone else feels good about you either. Continue reading
Recently we have been working to bring awareness to dating violence and sexual assault prevention. Most people don’t know how terribly common sexual assault is, or what to do about it.
Intimate partner violence may be even more prevalent than sexual assault. Reports show that 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual assault. But nearly 1 in 4 women have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner, says the National Domestic Violence Hotline. One in 3 women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
Stopping intimate partner violence presents its own set of challenges. Domestic violence often involves a co-dependent relationship and two people with histories of trauma.
But it only takes one well-informed, well-prepared adult in the lives of victims to make the difference between someone staying trapped, and getting help. Continue reading
Do holiday family gatherings stir up feelings of excitement and dread at the same time? Do you feel a little thrown off your game as your visit gets underway? Maybe you’re like the golfer in this story. Stick with me here — it relates back to holiday stress, I promise:
Survivors of childhood trauma deserve all the peace and security that a loving relationship can provide. But a history of abuse or neglect can make trusting another person feel terrifying. Trying to form an intimate relationship may lead to frightening missteps and confusion.
How can we better understand the impact of trauma, and help survivors find the love, friendship and support they and their partner deserve? Continue reading