Humans are born vulnerable. We live in a state of extreme need in our early years, and remain dependent on others in complex ways throughout our lives. Yet how we relate to these needs varies greatly: Some people have a healthy relationship to their needs, and find that others naturally respond to them adequately enough. For others the experience of need is intensely fraught and conflicted. We may resist, deny, or feel overwhelmed by a primitive sense of need, leading to anxiety, shame, rejection and distress, particularly in intimate relationships.
'When a child is ridiculed, shamed, hurt or ignored when she experiences and expresses a legitimate dependency need, she will later be inclined to attach those same affective tones to her dependency. Thus, she will experience her own (and perhaps others') dependency as ridiculous, shameful, painful or denied...'
Kathy Steele, Onno van der Hart, Ellert RS Nijenhuis
This workshop turns our attention to this experience, in an effort to embrace our experience of 'neediness', in the context of how natural it is, and where it may stem from in our history. We draw on attachment theory to understand how early experiences of acute need and dependence shape us. This theory element is balanced with spacious inquiry exercises that allow us to explore openly our relationship to our needs and longings, in order that we begin to relate with more receptivity and curiosity to our personal experience of need or clinging as adults.