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.
An adult’s well-being depends on a few key factors:
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:
Therefore, the role of early experiences 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.
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: