Had a great training day last week – we were talking about boundaries and co-dependency. We had lots of interesting discussion around co-dependency – being a state of reliance upon external things (people, substances and ‘things’) to make you feel better about yourself. BTW this is the ‘co’ bit… need not necessarily involve another person. Anyway, ultimately this need for external validation is due to life circumstances and poor self-worth leading to not feeling able to trust your own feelings, views and understanding of the world.

Since training I’ve been thinking a lot about identity and the impact of not trusting yourself. There’s a sickly logic to this – for many people their childhood experiences have left them lacking trust in others and consequently it is difficult to develop appropriate trust in self. I think there’s a really important connection to self and trusting yourself that helps move people away from having to seek validation externally. This connection with self, and this understanding of who you are – both positive and less so – may not come easily and is often incredibly painful to engage with. The training that we provide on the NEXT Project aims to give participants all the information and encouragement that is needed to undertake this process of developing an understanding relationship with self – and a simple belief that the things you feel, the thoughts you have and the dreams you may hold are you and they are ok.

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