First, a little about me and my inspiration for starting a blog. In my practice I work with individuals, couples and families, where I strive to create a safe space to explore emotions, identify needs and create deeper connections. Often, these “connections” are interpersonal. It is also quite common, though, for people to seek treatment because they feel disconnected from themselves. Life experience and societal pressures implicitly (and at times explicitly) discourage self-awareness and authenticity (i.e., a connection with and respect for human feelings and needs). I thought a blog would be a forum to discuss these social pressures and to help people reclaim their birthright.
Although we each face unique life experiences, we have more in common than we realize. We all need (and deserve) healthy, mutually satisfying relationships. When we come into this world as infants, we are hardwired to attach. It’s the way that we survive and this drive persists throughout the life span. In times of stress we turn to one another for support and reassurance– we are looking for a sense of safety and security. We all want to know that we are cared for, loved and important. We are not meant to live in isolation. I believe our culture’s emphasis on “independence” sends the implicit message that leaning on others and seeking emotional intimacy is a sign of weakness. Quite the contrary! Reaching out when we are feeling vulnerable is often frightening and it takes tremendous courage to override this fear. And because our interpersonal needs are subtly discouraged and silenced, we lose touch with our deeper feelings that alert us to our needs and motivate our interpersonal behavior. Thus, relationships and emotions will be the organizing themes for this blog.
Our attachment style, the way that we feel and respond in relationship to others, is determined by our attachments during our early life. If you are curious about your style of attachment, you might find the self-assessment on my website to be a helpful tool. It is a starting point for self-discovery. Whatever your style may be, it is not unchangeable. Research is clear that attachment styles can become more secure. We can change our automatic interpersonal behaviors by increasing self-awareness and by doing something different. When you try out new ways of interacting, you create new connections in the brain and over time, your attachment style can change.
So, my hope for this blog is that through informational and inspirational posts, you feel hopeful and empowered to develop the relationships that you deserve. Although the content of my blog is relational, you do not need to be in an intimate relationship to benefit. There are many avenues that lead to the same destination – your journey can begin by learning more about yourself and your interpersonal feelings, needs and beliefs.
Until next time…