Our Own Value and Lovability are Among the Lessons that We Don’t Remember Learning, but Never Forget

Our own value and lovability are among the lessons that we don’t remember learning, but never forget.

This is a line from an amazing book called, Why Therapy Works, by Louis Cozolino. The following is an excerpt from that book explaining more about what it means to not remember something but never forget it.

Embedded within what Freud called the superego (the internalization of parents’ attitudes toward the self) is a message of whether parents felt you should live or die– were you wanted or unwanted, were you a benefit or hindrance to the life of the family or tribe?  Should you live or be killed? Although our clients do not have any explicit memory of their early relationships with their parents, these experiences are implicitly recorded in how the patients think about and treat themselves. The negativity in our self-image and the way we treat ourselves sometimes exposes our parents’ negative or indifferent attitudes toward us decades earlier. Many with urges to harm or kill themselves were programmed within primitive memory systems before they were old enough to remember learning anything. Our own value and lovability are among the lessons that we don’t remember learning, but never forget.

When you live with shame about your intrinsic value and your right to exist, you are fighting an invisible enemy. Even worse, you’re fighting an enemy with the face of your parents. And this is a tough battle because to fight it and win, you have to allow yourself to be angry at people you love.

You need support to win this fight

It’s no small task to be angry at people you love and to do it you need a support system. You need a person, or group of people, who understand what you’re struggling with and can provide you with the community you need. You don’t win this fight in isolation because it’s the isolation that caused it in the first place.

Group therapy is a great way to get support while you fight the battle against negative self-evaluation.

So, if you are ready to start loving yourself give me a call.

We’ll talk.


Emotional Utopia, the book by Leah Benson, LMHC

Contact me now to set up your free 15-minute phone consultation.

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