This type of therapy consists mostly of dialogue during regular interaction with a psychotherapist to assist us in developing healthier and more effective habits. There are several different approaches in psychotherapy, such as psychoanalysis, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and humanistic psychotherapy. The effectiveness of the therapy is partly defined by the relationship between the therapist and the client. With enough trust and a positive rapport between them, there is a high probability that the therapy will be effective. Some psychotherapeutic approaches can be limited by theoretical definitions and mental labels. This could also limit the impact of the therapy. If we engage in a therapeutic commitment, it’s wise to find a therapist that is deeply connected to their intuition and open to our unique being, and who can guide us beyond the cognitive aspect of the therapy, into deep integration.

When we are exposed to traumatic experiences during our childhood our system contracts and responds with survival mechanisms. These reactions become ingrained in our belief system and behavior. Different situations require a different response to survive. We might have needed to stand up for ourselves to have our basic needs fulfilled, or we might have needed to make ourselves invisible to avoid invasive abuse. Four main responses can be developed, and most of us have one main response combined with a secondary response. These can become habits in our mental-emotional being and we can keep using them in situations we are exposed to as adults. These instinctive responses seem to get imprinted into our DNA and energy-field, which explains why children can ‘inherit’ fears and phobias from their parents.

The fight type responds to conflict and a threat with anger and a display of power. They have a strong subconscious or conscious belief that power ensures love and eliminates the threat of abandonment. The flight type responds to conflict and threat with distraction and a need for perfection. They believe that by doing their best, by getting attention through success and love through achievement, they are less likely to be abandoned. The freeze type responds to conflict and threat with hiding and avoidance. For this type, people equal danger and they do not have a goal of feeling loved or cared for; they have given up on the idea of receiving what they need from the outside world. The fawn type responds to threat and conflict with soothing and being selfless. This type has often learned as a child that being silent and serving the abuser is a helpful survival strategy. Most of these types exist in a hybrid form, using more than one strategy to survive during traumatic experiences.

There is a growing number of possible diagnoses available today. Having a diagnosis can help to put our issues into perspective and could be beneficial for some. For others, it feels like being constricted; when we settle for the idea that we are limited by our diagnosis, this is likely to manifest itself in our long-term reality. Top athletes can reach extreme goals when they set their minds to it. Similarly, when we can set our minds to reaching the goal of healing, we can effectively improve our mental-emotional well-being.

Personality disorders, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, developmental disorders, and addictive disorders can often be largely improved and sometimes fully healed with sincere and deep therapeutic work. Labels such as ‘anxiety disorder’ can be seen as a sign or symptom of complex post-traumatic stress disorder. Pete Walker is a famous psychotherapist and he has written extensively about his insights in this topic. His approach guides us in managing our emotional flashbacks, understanding different types of trauma, differentiating our outer critic from our inner critic, healing our abandonment depression, re-parenting ourselves, and deconstructing the hierarchy of self-injuring responses developed by our childhood trauma. The articles on his website are easy to follow and understand.