Developmental Psychotherapy

developmental psychotherapy

 

Everyone was a child at some point in their life, and childhood experiences and relationships can play a significant role in shaping the type of adults that people grow into.

Developmental psychotherapy is a type of therapy that takes into account the findings of developmental research and applies them to general psychotherapy for both children and adults.

 
 

The Tremendous Influence of Childhood on Adult Well-being

An adult’s well-being depends on a few key factors:

  • Good physical health
  • Good emotional health
  • Mastery in their chosen field
  • Satisfying relationships

Researchers have found a connection between a person’s childhood personality traits and the attainment of all of these key components of adult well-being. Some of the crucial aspects of an adult’s life that can be predicted to some degree by childhood personality include:

  • Career success
  • Educational achievement
  • Marital outcome
  • Sociability
  • Mortality
  • Quality of familial relationships
  • Quality of peer relationships

Therefore, the role that early experiences play in shaping adults cannot be ignored. Development is an area that is constantly being investigated by researchers, and their findings are being used to help shape psychotherapy and create effective methods of overcoming a host of mental health issues.
 

Issues Developmental Psychotherapy Can Help With

Developmental psychotherapy can be useful for children, particularly those who have suffered a setback or are growing up in an environmental that is less than ideal. However, it is also extremely useful for adults. It can help people to repair or mitigate the effects of negative early experiences such as trauma, loss, or neglect. Sometimes these problems come about as the result of poor parenting; other times, they are related to external factors or incidents that occurred during a person’s childhood.

For example, people might suffer from low self-esteem because they were raised by a depressed parent who didn’t seem to notice or validate them, or an individual might avoid relationships due to an avoidant experience with a parent. A person who suffered significant loss as a child might suffer from severe depression.

Whilst anyone can benefit from a psychotherapeutic approach that is informed by developmental theory, there are a few issues in particular that it can be helpful with:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Relationship problems
  • Trust issues
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Substance abuse

 

Benefits of Developmental Psychotherapy

  • It can help people understand how their early experiences affect their current life.
  • It can help people improve their relationships with friends, co-workers, and romantic partners.
  • It can help individuals break free from long-standing thought patterns that are not productive.
  • It can help people move past traumatic childhood experiences.
  • It can help individuals repair damaged familial relationships.
  • It can help people avoid making the same mistakes their parents did with their own children.
  • It can provide people with effective coping mechanisms.