What is healthy autonomy?
Our whole existence is constrained by our need for connection. relationship and symbiosis, and our need for autonomy, individuality and uniqueness. Our identity is born of this.
Our need for connection begins with our first relationship, with our mother, and subsequently with our father. The quality of these relationships gives us our first steps to our connection with our world, with our needs, our wants, our environment and with other people. We cannot exist in isolation. Systems theory sees that everything in our world exists within the environmental and ecological system in which we live.
Our ability to engage with our environment is defined by our earliest experiences... and our ability to be autonomous is influenced by these first relationships. Is the infant seen and valued for the unique individual that s/he is, with her/his own wants and needs, for her/his growing autonomy? Or is s/he only seen for what s/he can do for the mother and father? Are the child's needs and wants recognised and given valid status or does the child have to give up in her/his needs in order to find connection with the mother?
Traumatisation at this early time of life - during the bonding and attachment phase - constitutes a lasting blow to our autonomous ability, to our identity, particularly if it happens very early. Trauma leaves us vulnerable and dependent, with a fractured and compromised identity, affecting our ability to think clearly and make good decisions. When traumatised we lose our ability to live through a healthy autonomy.
So our aim with our work Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy is to regain our healthy autonomy, to heal our fractured identity.