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How to Heal Your Self From Past Deprivation

….an inside job

Since no parent in the world is perfect, somewhere along the way we all missed out on something. Maybe many things. Can you sense this may still be affecting your happiness? Here are some common emotional components that manifest in deprivation syndrome if not received at certain stages of early development :

attunement: when primary caregiver really gets you

stability, consistency






belief in child’s self efficacy


role model for self-regulation

role model for healthy relationship


So we learn to compensate. Sometimes in healthy ways, sometimes in quite unhealthy ways. Actually, much of my work is around the not so healthy ways. When we understand where it all comes from, we can move on to doing what we can to heal. A common misnomer is that the healing comes from external sources. Lives are spent spinning wheels in a quest to obtain what we missed from new people along the way. Relationships are strained when a partner can’t quite do the job. Guess what? It’s not their job. It’s ours. It’s an inside job.


Why do some people “get over it” already while others stay stuck? It’s a big question with many contributing factors but a large part has to do with internal resources. Or lack of them. The good news is that we have the ability to cultivate these very tools.

It starts simply with a dialogue. Since our thoughts are ego-conversations all day long, perhaps its time to make room for a voice that provides some of the aformentioned deprivation. When I work with clients, we formulate dialogue that directly counteracts what is disempowering them. Here’s how to get started on your own.

  1. Listen to your current inner dialogue. Observe the messages. Is your self-talk harsh, judgmental, even mean?

  2. Create a new voice, in the 3rd person, using your name. This allows some emotional distance. It can even feel like a friend giving advice. (Funny how we can give advice to friends, but not to ourselves). Use a journal, talk in the mirror, or just sit quietly.

  3. Speak from a place of wisdom and compassion (as if it were a parent to a child) acknowledging strengths while debunking fears. This shifts actual brain chemistry reducing fear and doubt that simmer in the amygdala. Research reveals reduction in anxiety and rumination from positive self-talk.

  4. Don’t attempt to do this once in a crisis or elevated emotional state. This must be cultivated on a daily basis so it is internalized. This is how mental change is achieved. Make it a daily practice, until it resonates. Then you can “be over it already” and move on to enjoy life. And to enjoy people you encounter, without expecting them to do this for you. If they do, its just dessert! Ahh, but there is more work to be done. Healing from the past is a process. This is a good place to start the work.

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