Monday, May 30, 2016

Developmental Dependency Needs

All humans have needs starting from the womb to the grave. If the core needs of a person are not met in childhood, that person will develop neurosis (codependency) or character disorders (narcissism).

These core needs must be met by an attuned caretaker. These core needs must be met externally because a child is not able to meet their own needs. They need help. If the caretaker is undeveloped or did not get their own core needs met in childhood, then that caretaker is ill-equipped to meet the needs of the child. This causes generational passing down of issues that often go unresolved. People with unmet childhood dependency needs are emotionally stunted at the age in which their needs were not met.

If any of your Developmental Dependency Needs were not met in childhood, you will experience a core  wound of toxic shame. Toxic shame becomes your identity which causes a profound level of emotional pain.

The damage caused by lack of nurture in childhood is similar to a bug in a computer program. It effects all other developmental milestones for the child. A child who receives inadequate care will grow into adulthood with arrested development, immature emotional and mental processing and crippling emotional pain that impacts every area of his life. The good news is that you can be healed of your neediness by dealing with the shame and taking care of yourself.

As an adult you can help yourself heal from the wounds caused by childhood neglect and abandonment. The first step is recognizing that you have needs that did not get met. The second step is to reparent yourself by meeting as many of those needs as an adult.

Here is a list of developmental dependency needs:
  • The need to be mirrored for who you truly are by your primary care taker.
  • The need to have a secure attachment bond with your primary care taker.
  • The need to be soothed by your primary caretaker.
  • The need to be answered by your primary caretaker if you cried out as a baby.
  • The need to know that your primary caretaker will protect you and take care of you.
  • The need for food, shelter, warmth and mothering. 
  • The need for love, affection and food.
  • The need for adequate feeding, watering, nourishing.
  • The need for adequate cleaning.
  • The need for maternal warmth.
  • The need to feel wanted, included and as though you belong. 
  • The need to be seen for who you truly are. 
  • The need for emotional support.
  • The need to be understood.
  • The need for eye contact, expression of positive emotions by caretakers or loved ones
  • The need for cuddling.
  • The need for the fostering of emotional security. 
  • The need to feel special, cherished, important.
  • The need to feel competent, capable, powerful. 
  • The need for acceptance.
  • The need to feel safe.
  • The need to feel loved.
 The meeting of these developmental dependency needs helps a child develop and form secure attachments with caregivers. If these basic needs were not met for you properly as a child, then you will have difficulty forming healthy relationships as an adult. The relationship you have with your primary caregiver in infancy forms your working model for all future relationships in your life. If you didn't get your needs met as a child, you will not be able to get your needs met as an adult, unless you heal and learn to meet your own needs.

These needs are most basic to a person's identity. If left unmet, these needs become wounds that generate toxic thoughts and feelings and turn yourself against yourself. If these needs are unmet, they will result in negative core beliefs, also called "schemas" about the self which effects every area of the person's life including mental functioning, emotions, relationships, work, play and physical health.

These developmental needs can be met in therapy by a trained therapist. You can also meet your own biological and social needs that were unmet in childhood as an adult through reparenting techniques, meditation, self-soothing and self-talk. Your spouse or partner can also help to meet some of your unmet childhood dependency needs.

A person who suffered abuse in childhood or any kind of dysfunctional childhood will likely have needs that went unmet. This is a problem that affects every walk of life. There are many hurting people with wounded hearts that we speak to and interact with every day. The best thing we can do is get ourselves healed so that we can be a light for others. 

Sources used for this article:
Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw

No comments:

Post a Comment