Shawna Freshwater, Ph.D.   ·   Clinical Psychologist, NeuroPsychologist & Holistic Healer   ·   Contact for your free 15-minute consultation

The Most Important Relationship You Will Ever Have Is the Relationship You Have with Your Self

For anyone who has come to realize their relationships repeatedly suffer from struggle, tension, and too much disappointment.  Chances are you come from a childhood history that has significantly impacted your ability to create and sustain secure attachments as an adult. You are not alone. Many of us have had to learn the hard way after many failed attempts that something more is going on here. It is highly probable that an attachment injury is influencing your relationships.

Early attachment relations form the templates to which we engage in the relationship we have with our Self, and also how we engage in adult relationships.  When we hold beliefs about our Self that we are unloveable, or not enough, these were formed early on in our personality development.  During the early developmental process of the personality (i.e. Self) an internalized imprint is formed.  The child internalizes a schema of who he/she is, who he/she is not, of who others are, and how to establish and maintain a relationship based on accrued interactions with the primary caregiver(s).

Early attachment patterns create an inner map or blueprint encoded in our brain and subconscious mind that chart our relationships throughout life. Not only in terms of what we expect from others, but how comfortable we feel with their presence.

Implicit relationship memory is shaped in an infant’s ~ child’s ~ adolescent’s mind from repeated experiences, primarily with the mother, father, or other primary caretakers.

These blue prints from childhood form the templates to which we engage with our Self and engage in adult relationships.  We intuitively seek at a subconscious level.  We seek relationship matches to these early childhood encoded blueprints. Insecure attachments are injuries, and sometimes quite traumatic. Insecure attachments will seek out insecure attachments in adulthood because of the encoded subconscious familiarity and unmet needs of the past will press forward.

Even though this encoding ~ early imprinting is deeply embedded in the subconscious and hardwired in the brain circuitry, it can be rewired and new maps of healthy relationship dynamics made.

Through new relational experiences which are positive, secure, and consistent…you can heal every time you meet and attune to your Self, and every time you meet and attune your Self to another to receive and stay present, you can can recode the neural circuitry with a new healthy relationship attachment pathway.  This is why and precisely why neuropsychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapies can work through Attunement, Reproceduring, Mirroring, and Disruption-Repair experiences in the therapeutic dyad.

No matter what the relational injuries one has endured, be it early childhood, adolescence, or toxic adult relationships, the opportunity for reorganziation is always there ~ love is always there.

Better relating and healthy relationships are possible. You can improve your relationships.  The first and most important relationship is the relationship that you have with your Self.  When our relationship with Self is not healthy, we easily fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviors and become involved in unhealthy adult relationships, some of these relationships are toxic relationships.

Toxic relationships are harder to let go of than healthy relationships. Unhealthy or toxic relationships trigger all of our own personal stuff to the point that we can’t decipher between our own personal work and the relationship.  We get to thinking that we need to fix the relationship or try to fix the other person to be okay.  However, that is not ever true, not ever.

We need to let go of the toxic relationship, see our own Self clearly, do our own work, be free, and in time, enter a healthy relationship with our Self, and only then is healthy relationship with another truly possible, sustainable, and nurturing.  Does that sound hard?  Not as hard as holding onto a toxic relationship or repeating the same old patterns of unhealthy relationships. Promise.

I practice from a neuropsychoanalytic and psychodynamic relational lens in regards to healing from insecure attachments, healing of the Self, and bringing to the foreground unhealthy relationship patterns as it is the “Best Practice” evidence based therapies for this in-depth work.  Will it be easy? Nope! Will it be worth it? Absolutely.

A psychological relational marker for the “securely attached” adult is the demonstrations of capacities for both intimacy and autonomy.

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