Written By: Jose Luna (Joey), MSW, ACSW #87743 Associate Therapist & Social Skills Clinician
Sigmund Freud proposed that psychological development in childhood takes place over five psychosexual stages. Although his theory has been the subject to much criticism, the idea that our childhood experiences have a profound impact throughout our lives, cannot be discounted.
As young children, our experiences and environment shape our perception of the world around us and our early relationships with our primary caregivers contribute to the development of our self image, friendships and romantic relationships.
Attachment Theory states that our emotional bond with our primary caregiver (usually our mother), is the means by which the helpless infant gets its primary needs met. In various studies conducted by psychologists and researchers, they have described several patterns of attachment.
Children with secure attachment may be distressed upon separation, but warmly welcome back the caregiver. Children with anxious attachment are often frightened by separation and often show anxious behaviors upon the caregivers return. And for children with avoidant attachment, they often react fairly calmly during separation nor do they embrace their caregivers’ return.
So what does this mean when dealing with our childhood traumas, loss and our past? There seems to be a correlation between our attachment characteristics early in life and adulthood. For many clients who often seek therapy, whether it be for depression, anxiety, relational issues or family conflicts- the first step in healing may be to heal the inner child.
Sometimes we have to look at our past, our childhood, our upbringing and discuss the impact it has had on us. We must grieve the losses that we have endured, acknowledge the pain and self-reflect to begin healing and change. As we reflect on our life story narrative, we must allow ourselves compassion. As a therapist at Heredia Therapy Group Inc., it’s important to help explore our childhood, validate losses and help heal the inner child that has endured pain for so long. Through this process, we can heal and empower ourselves.
Jose Luna (Joey), MSW, ACSW #87743
Associate Therapist & Social Skills Clinician