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.