When a client experiences trauma in childhood, and they aren’t able to develop crucial attachment relationships . . .
. . . they may struggle to feel any true sense of belonging right up through adulthood.
Instead, they can carry painful messages that they’re unwanted, unneeded, and never truly accepted.
So in the video below, Bessel van der Kolk, MD, shares something that he’s seen introduce a sense of belonging to clients with insecure attachment histories.
Take a look.
The place where I see that dissolve or sort of be mitigated is in the theater work that we do. When people join theater or possibly join tango dancing groups (but I don’t study that), you play different roles, and you get to see how what you do causes you to be part of the team.
And so you need to have experiences where you are required to be there and to perform actions that earn you a place in the group. I think music, dancing, and theater are ways in which you get a visceral sense of, “Well, I play the flute. And if I don’t play the flute at this right moment in the orchestra, the orchestra falls apart. They need me.” And then they do a good job, and people say, “Wow, that little flute solo was so great.”
So being an active member of a critically important group of people where you are necessary in order for it to function can instill some of that sense of being a worthwhile member of the group.”
If you found this helpful and would like to hear more from Bessel and other top experts (like Allan Schore, PhD; Dan Siegel, MD; Pat Ogden, PhD; Ruth Lanius, MD, PhD; and more) about how to help clients build secure attachment after trauma, click here.
Now we’d like to hear from you. What are some ways that you help clients who feel like they don’t belong? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.