STAR begins at the beginning. What was your family like? Who were the most influential people? Who held the power and how was it used? What were their attitudes and beliefs? Were they loving, critical, abusive, absent, apathetic, neglectful, or unprotective? What happened? And most important, who did you become and how did you feel about yourself in response to it all? Answers to these and other questions reveal how your childhood environment impacted the person you became.
Unconditional love, positive regard, and proper boundaries produce happy children. Unfortunately, many people who attend STAR do not come from functional families.
Frequently the family fit the material expectations and images of “the good family” but internally, behind closed doors, there were secrets and stressful demands to “look the part.” This may well have been in conflict with your internal, natural impulses. Trying to fit into a role played for someone else’s benefit restricts the freedom to be your authentic self. There may also have been situations like job loss, deaths, the need to change locations, illness or natural disasters which caused upset and pain in your family yet were no one’s fault. These too may need to be processed and resolved.
In an effort to survive, a child develops strategies to cope with life in a dysfunctional family. The strategies were created so the child could meet certain internal needs: to feel or be safe and/or to gain love and approval or even attention. But when the child leaves home, the strategies which worked as a child, such as suppressing feelings, people pleasing, or trying to be perfect or invisible do not work in adult life.
By dealing with the issues that arise from your family of origin, you will fully understand why you act, react and feel the way you do. The work done at STAR will give you an opportunity to express and release repressed feelings and uncover old patterns of thinking and behaving which are no longer needed and are attached to your childhood. Your past will gradually be left in the past and no longer shadow your present.