Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sensitizing a child to an emotion (racket)

As children grow and develop they come across events where they will experience the full range of emotions. This of course is a natural thing for a child to do. However sometimes they will be hyper sensitized to an emotion which means they will feel it more often and more intensely.

child contestant

This sensitizing process happens by parents encouraging that emotion in the child. For example this can happen with shame if the parents raise the child using shame. 

For example the parent may say
“You should be ashamed of yourself for...”

Or the parent in some way derides or humiliates the child in front of its peers or siblings as a means of socializing the child.

Or if the child wets the bed and the parent uses some kind of shaming process in an effort to get the child to stop wetting the bed. For example getting the child to wear its wet underpants on its head for a period of time.

If a child is raised with this then it becomes sensitized to the emotion of shame and this becomes a function on the Adapted Child ego state rather than the Free Child ego state. As children go through life they come across situations where they feel shame or embarrassment. This is Free Child. The child who is sensitized to shame will have many more situations where they feel shame than the non sensitized child. In addition when they feel the shame it will usually be more intense. This is a racket and a function of the Adapted Child ego state.

Sensitized racket ego states

Of course this can happen with any emotion like anger, sadness, happiness and fear. When working with clients the therapist needs to diagnose if they are dealing with an FC or AC emotion as they are dealt with differently.


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