As children we are sensitive, vulnerable and dependent on others for our survival and well being.

Sometimes contact with our caregivers and with the outside world wounds us or fails to meet our needs. To cope with the painful or the unbearable we build defences that make our lives more bearable and thus help us to survive. These defences then stay with us and become parts of our personality structures so that we continue to meet the world with those same defences in place. But those defences may no longer be necessary. And the walls we have built often keep us from contact (with others and with our selves) and from living fully. Problems of today were often once solutions to problems in the past. For example being angry may have been a source of attention when you were younger, and it may well be the source of attention now …. but is it the right attention when you are an adult, is it benefiting you in the same way? Most of you will find that what was once a solution to a problem is now the problem.

To dismantle these defences we need first to appreciate how important they were in protecting us when we needed them and then to be willing allow ourselves, slowly and carefully, to become vulnerable again.

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