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Q & A with Dr. B. – How did your wife, serving as your witness help you to heal the emotional wounds?

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

Dr. Larry Berkelhammer

The purpose of this website, my book, and the Community Education course I teach at the College of Marin, is to teach people how to live a vibrant, meaningful life through the cultivation of self-empowerment and self-efficacy. In this weekly Q&A column, I post questions from students and from people who attend my presentations along with my answers.

Here is this week’s question:

QUESTION: How did your wife, serving as your witness help you to heal the emotional wounds?

ANSWER:  It was not until I met my wife in my late twenties that I finally experienced another human being who was able to witness and then point out to me my mother’s inappropriate, cruel, and narcissistic behavior. I had never consciously acknowledged the abuse because I had become so injured and blinded by the wounding since early childhood. This novel validation, which I finally received, allowed me to begin to gradually develop a tiny morsel of self-compassion. Witnessing and validation are among the many reasons that healthy, close relationships are so essential for wellbeing and health.

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