When a person grows up in an invalidating environment, e.g., in a family where his or her feelings and needs are ignored or ridiculed, it may be hard for that person as an adult to know about the very things that make up a sense of self: What do I feel about this or that? What is my opinion? What is my priority or value? What do I need?
While it is helpful to understand something about how a sense of the self develops in childhood, it is also useful to know what one can do as an emerging adult, to build or to strengthen a core sense of self, of who you are. This unit is intended to provide some suggestions for ways to do just that.
A starting place for this project might be to practice asking yourself the above questions as you go through your day, as you read something, as you hear news, as you talk with someone, as you decide what to have for lunch or what to do in this moment or the next: What do I think? feel? value? need? Also, it helps to stay aware of the fact that our behavioral choices flow directly out of the answers to these questions, whether we answer them in awareness or not!
On thing that complicates this process is the reality that, for instance, what we value may be in conflict with what we need, or what we think may be in conflict with what we feel. It also may be the case that we don’t think, or feel, or need just one thing in any given situation- we may, e.g., have two or three different feelings about what we want to do that are in direct conflict with each other.
How we resolve these conflicts or tensions is part of developing a self.
Here are some things that a person can do that will facilitate this process:
Learn about the Yellowbrick Core Competence Services.
Yellowbrick collaborates with adolescents and emerging adults, ages 16-30's, their families and participating professionals toward the development and implementation of a strategic “Life Plan.” An integrative, multi-specialty consultation clarifies strengths, limitations, and risks, and defines motivations, goals and choices.
A mental health condition that’s characterized by intense shifts in mood including both manic and depressive episodes.
People living with Major Depressive Disorder, or MDD, experience episodes of depression and sadness that are debilitating to daily life.
Those living with anxiety disorders experience high levels of anxiety and stress that interfere negatively with daily life.
A mental health issue in which a person’s cognitive function is impaired, resulting in symptoms like experiencing challenges with conducting speech, reading and writing, and behavior.
Mental health disorders that negatively affect a person’s behaviors, thought patterns, and function. People diagnosed with these disorders experience challenges with managing relationships and understanding various situations.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition that people can develop as a result of experiencing traumatic situations, characterized by symptoms including flashbacks, avoidance behaviors, and more.
A mental health condition that is characterized by specific symptoms of forgetfulness and lack of concentration, which makes it challenging to complete necessary tasks.
Mental health conditions that interfere with a person’s eating habits, thought patterns, and behaviors in negative ways.
A mental health disorder diagnosable with the DSM-5 that is characterized by both obsessions and compulsive behaviors.