Why do therapists always ask about your childhood? Why is it such big deal?
It's not a big secret why. It's because we know that childhood is where people have their first relationship. The relationship we're all born into: the one with our parents.
And that's where - for better or worse - we all developed our earliest wounds, from those early patterns. The ones that stick around for life. The quality of our relationship with our parents is "downloaded" and becomes the blueprint we live by for how life, love, and relationships work.
Since most of it goes straight into our unconscious, it ends up designing our life - whether we know it or not. And most of it, we don't. The problem comes from the fact that our brains are hardwired to keep gathering evidence of those childhood "truths" over and over again by seeking out relationships that feel familiar to us. That feel like our childhood.
Some commonly held false "truths" are: I'm not good enough. I have to work hard for love. Men/women can't be trusted. Emotions are messy/scary/overwhelming. Anger is unacceptable. My job is to make everyone happy. I can't count on anyone having my back. My needs are not important to others.
So that's why therapists ask about your childhood. Not to dredge it up to make you spend the rest of your life angry and resentful at your parents. But to help you understand:
- why you do what you do
- that it's not a mystery
- and to use that information to change your future for the better.
What kind of relationships heal? Healthy ones, pretty much. Ones where you are accepted as you, and not conditional on you changing into someone else. And you feel good.
Yes, it can be good romantic partnerships. But healing also happens in solid and nurturing friend, mentor, teacher, and coach relationships, for example. A therapy relationship is another great relationship, really designed for your healing.
Because your wounds come from relationships - relationships are where you heal.