Dr. Nicole LePera

Dr. Nicole LePera



Childhood trauma doesn’t just come from what you experience, it’s also about what you don’t experience. Here’s some examples:

1. Emotional neglect: when we don’t experience a parent figure that’s emotional attuned (connected) to us, we struggle to make sense of our emotions. We can learn our needs don’t matter and that our role is to care for other people’s emotions.

2. No repair: when we are hurt or betrayed, repair is needed. Repair is when accountability is taken, apologies are made, and there’s a direct acknowledgment of what will be different in the future. When we don’t get repair, we learn our feelings don’t matter

3. Learned helplessness: when we aren’t modeled how to solve problems, find solutions, & aren’t given the ability to leave abusive situations— learned helplessness can happen. This robs us of our ability to be resilient adults.

4. Lack of personal accountability: a core trait of dysfunctional is blaming other people for issues or problems. When we don’t see adults taking responsibility, we learn to outsource our power. This leaves us at the whim of other people’s behavior.

5. No joy, play, or spontaneous fun: another core trait of dysfunctional families is “over seriousness.” This can come from long term survival mode where playfulness doesn’t exist. We struggle to be light hearted or to be able to let lose.

6. No space to be a child: when we’re parentified (made to fill a parents role) we lack the ability to emotionally develop. This is because we’re focused on “mature” adult issues. This stunts us emotionally & has us fixing things that weren’t ours to fix.

7. No room for mistakes: mistakes are essential for growth and learning logic. In dysfunctional families perfection is required. Mistakes are deemed a as a weakness. This gives us issues with procrastination and chronic fear of criticism.

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