…the evolutionary role of the attachment relationship goes far beyond giving physical protection to the human infant. Attachment ensures that the brain processes that come to subserve social cognition are appropriately organized and prepared to equip the individual for the collaborative and cooperative existence with others for which the brain was designed.
~ Peter Tonagy and Mary Target
Are you ready to discover how you can have deeper communication, more joy, and longer lasting love in your adult relationship?
DARe focuses on Early Attachment Styles and how they manifest in adult personal relationships of all kinds – friends, family and romantic partners or spouses. You will experience Corrective Experiences, and Somatic Experiencing techniques on how to alleviate stuck patterns of the past.
Every day, people are looking for clues to the mystery of loving relationships. DARe provides the keys to that mystery by teaching you how to compassionately free yourself from the patterns of Early Attachment Wounds that influence adult relationships. You learn to recognize the dynamics of Secure, Avoidant, Ambivalent and Disorganized Attachment patterns, and how we might be influenced by them late in life.
WORKING WITH THE ENCAPSULATED SELF
What are you aware was missing in you attachment history? Ask yourself “What would make a difference?”. What do you need and/or what can you do to repair that part of the past?
We often have “encapsulated experiences” at certain ages with extreme difficulty. What ages do you revisit that do not yet feel integrated? What resources can we import that may give that self the support it needs to complete developmental tasks and to discharge excess arousal for the scary event or lack of connection?
Discovering the INNER CHILD memory sensorium helps you to differentiate from the original family field, contact your inner child, and build a trusting relationship
When you envision or sense the presence of your “Inner Child”, what do you see or experience? Can you see or feel your Inner Child clearly? You will learn how to import resources from now to the wounded child. You will experience the difference it makes to the inner child to have his or her needs met, and to have resources and antidotes available, like a protector, boundaries, safe place etc. You will give your inner child a tour of your life now and introduce them to the man or woman you have become with the resources you have now. You may have a relatively safer life now that the child can connect to.
CARE AND TREATMENT
What is happening in this memory? How is your inner child treated by those around him or her, especially the important others like parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. who, in an ideal world, would be abundantly loving, present and competently protective? Is your inner child loved enough? Cared For? Nurtured? Cherished? Seen and met? Or is he or she ridiculed? Humiliated? Rejected? Lost? Confused? Afraid? Intimidated? Terrorized? Ignored? How old is he or she? One age, or an age range? Are there several ages in childhood encapsulated due to over-activation from events at those ages and stages? What is he or she wearing? What does your inner child look like in your mind’s eye?
What is your inner child feeling? Doing? Expressing? How does he or she feel about the adult you? Does he or she even know you exist? What do you see when you look in your inner child’s eyes, and what do they see when they look in yours?
What is he or she willing to tell you about his or her situation or feeling state? Does your inner child trust you to be available, listen, and allow the feelings trapped there? Or does your inner child expect you (or others) to turn away and ignore him or her? Can he or she feel your willingness to listen now? Can he or she trust you now? Do you feel deserving of that trust? Who might your inner child trust? This person can be from any time in your life and “imported” back to the child state. This resource can be someone a person has seen in a movie or read about in a book. You can ask yourself or your partner in the exercise: what qualities would someone have to be considered trustworthy if you had to make that person up “from scratch”?
Is your inner child hiding, or fearful of being judged by you and/or others? Is your inner critic strong? Harsh? Unforgiving? Gives you a hard time?
Snapping back to the EGO: Remember when we are feeling loving, loved, or are expanding in our consciousness, we often “ring the doorbell” to the Superego or Inner Critic to contract us back into our false identity or ego. Our defensiveness in reacting to judgment from our self or others efficiently snaps us back to orienting to our self from the familiar perspective of our original conditioned mind.
Attachment and bonding have been shown to be innate functions with an evolutionary adaptive role, which – like in all mammals – is to ensure survival of the species. Our culture values independence and autonomy, and relationship advice is often in contradiction with our evolutionary heritage and the neurobiological substrates of our nervous system. As a species, we are neurobiologically hardwired for relationships. In the wild, bonding and attachment equals survival, while abandonment equals death. Our brain is a “social brain” and is primed to connect in relationships with others.
Are we more a product of nature or nurture? The answer is unequivocally a combination of both – we are genetically hardwired, neurobiological structures, which are continually sculpted, shaped, and reshaped by experience. We are born with the capacity and innate drive to bond and attach at birth, and our brains are continually shaped by our interaction with the world and the people in our lives.
Brain plasticity, the capacity of the brain to shape and mold through experience, is both a blessing and a curse – but it is an understanding of these basic neurobiological processes that will result in a more effective treatment of attachment and relational difficulties. Underlying maladaptive learning patterns are a core imprint of a nervous system that is primed to connect. Understanding the intricacies of how the organism protects and defends itself, and how it organizes to form lasting bonds, will provide a valuable tool for clinical applications. Our neurobiological structure forms the template that determines how we explore and interact with our environment, while the environment itself also shapes those same neural structures. At the core of understanding the neurobiology of attachment is also a basic grasp of the elemental structure of the nervous system.
“People don’t come preassembled, but are glued together by life… What’s interesting about this formulation is not that nature and nurturing both contribute to who we are, but that they actually speak the same language. They both ultimately achieve their mental and behavioral effects by shaping the synaptic organization of the brain.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DR DIANE POOLE HELLER AND HER WORK
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