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Amanda Blanco Carranza

Amanda Blanco Carranza

Idiomas: inglés y español

Why does my therapist ask me about my childhood and the relationship with my parents?  The importance in psychotherapy of exploring early childhood relationships

Usually, when we decide to start therapy it is because we have a problem in the present that generates discomfort or pain, and we do not have enough resources to handle the situation adequately. Sometimes the problem may have been in our life for some time (months, years); other times, something sudden happens which makes us seek help immediately. Regardless of the time we have been living with the problem, when we decide to start therapy is when the problem starts to interfere significantly with different areas of our lives (personal, family, work, academic, couple, etc.).


During therapy, our therapist will ask questions to understand how the problem manifests (symptoms), how long we have been living with the problem and how it impacts different areas of our life. Our therapist will also ask questions about our childhood, adolescence and adulthood, but especially, he/she will want to deepen in early childhood experiences with our parents or people whom we grew up with.

Tools for identifying and expressing emotions

Why is it important to identify and express emotions properly? 

Emotions provide important information about what is happening around us, how external events affect us and what they mean to us. Emotions also inform about the impact of internal events such as thoughts or physiological responses. Therefore, emotional responses to external or internal events are guides to our behavior, set us to behave in one way or another, tell us what to do depending on the emotion we are feeling. 


If we do not know how to properly identify the emotions we feel, it is very likely that we will have difficulty managing our feelings, reflecting on why we feel the way we do and what we need to do to change our emotional state. Therefore, it is very important that we know how to identify emotions properly and to observe to which thoughts they are related to, so that we can make decisions to manage our emotions and respond to the situation we are facing.


The skills to identify and express emotions need to be fostered in childhood so that children develop an emotional system that allows them to manage and handle emotions properly. However, sometimes, these skills have not been adequately developed during this stage of life and we see adults with difficulties in identifying, expressing and managing their emotions. Sometimes, people with these difficulties can only determine if they feel "good", "so so" or "bad", but they do not know how to identify exactly what emotion they are feeling. At other times, they are able to differentiate between basic emotions (such as joy, sadness, fear, anger, disgust, and surprise), but have difficulty being more specific with more complex emotional states.


Posted by on in Artículos y entrevistas

Attached, written by psychologists Dr. Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, is an interesting self-help book that aims to bring the reader the latest advances in scientific research on how adults tend to form emotional bonds with their partners. 


The authors do a great job in conveying, in simple and understandable terms, the main scientific findings on attachment theory and its influence on adult relationships. 


Attachment theory explains the way in which we establish affective bonds with other people, especially with people close to us, based on the experiences with our parents or main caregivers during the first years of life. Through these experiences we learn basic notions of the functioning of relationships in terms of intimacy, security, care, dependence and autonomy. The way in which adults establish affective ties with their partners is similar to those established between parents and children. Therefore, these early experiences will end up forging our particular style of attachment; that is, the specific way in which we tend to relate affectively with other people. 

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