After listening to a talk by Dr Gabor Maté https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVg2bfqblGI it all makes sense why people-please and use all kinds of coping mechanisms. He mentions in his talk that as an infant there are two fundamental needs apart from the physical needs, authenticity and attachment. What does attachment mean, Dr Maté states that attachment is the closeness and proximity with another human being for the sake of being looked after or for the sake of looking after the other. His theory is that if we do not attach as infants we will not survive, attachment is not a negotiable need.

What does authenticity mean, according to Gabor Maté, authenticity means being connected to ourselves, just knowing what we are feeling and being able to act on it, following our gut feelings. When we lived in the wild we had to follow our gut (being authentic) in order to survive. Authenticity is a survival need, however, what happens if your authenticity threatens your attachment? When a child’s authenticity threatens their attachment they will suppress their authenticity to make sure they remain attached, and connected.

This is where coping mechanisms like people-pleasing, tuning out and avoidance originate, from early childhood, where we disconnect from ourselves to make sure our attachment is secure. The very dynamic that was essential for survival in a natural setting which is authenticity has now become a threat to our survival in the modern setting, where being authentic is a threat to our attachment. This is why many people do not know who they really are because to survive they had to disconnect from themselves.

It is when there is a reconnection with the authentic self that the healing process will begin. The recovery process starts when a person reconnects with their authentic selves again. Learning to acknowledge their emotions, authentically following their gut, and acting in a manner that shows that they are true to themselves despite the threat to attachment. Working through past trauma is another step toward being your authentic self again and recovery.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with me for an online counselling session. Let’s together create an environment where you can connect with yourself again, an environment that fosters and encourages authenticity. An environment where you can follow your gut and get to know what it looks like.

After doing an intake I might be able to help you with a few sessions using BWRT (Brainworking Recursive Therapy) read more about BWRT on another blog on my website: https://thewellsamaria.co.za/what-is-brainworking-recursive-therapy-or-bwrt/, or we will use another technique depending on your unique needs.

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