Tag: <span>Relationships</span>

Childhood Trauma & Neglect Affect On Adult Relationships

How Childhood Trauma & Neglect Go On To Affect Adult Relationships

Childhood is the time in our lives when we learn the most about interacting with other people, and how to navigate the complex world of social relationships. The lessons that we learn as children from our caregivers, often have lasting effects that continue to shape the relationships and bonds that we form as adults with our friends, family, and loved ones. As a licensed professional counselor in Houston, TX, Renee Lederman can teach you how to overcome the negative childhood patterns of behavior that are affecting your relationships in adulthood. 

These lessons are not always formal or intentional. During early childhood through adolescence, children develop neural pathways that influence how they form emotional attachments. Traumatic experiences in childhood can change how those neural pathways develop. Children who receive support and validation from caregivers learn how to build solid attachments based on trust and mutual support. Conversely, abuse, neglect, and trauma can make it harder to build lasting relationships as adults.

The exact connection between childhood trauma and adult relationships is not entirely known, and not every person is affected in exactly the same way. However, we can identify certain patterns of behavior in adult relationships, that often have an origin in childhood trauma and neglect.

Children with Healthy Attachments in Childhood 

Adults who experienced mostly positive, healthy attachments during childhood have a solid foundation to build secure attachments as they get older. 

Adults with secure attachment are not afraid of healthy commitment, or of being open emotionally with friends and partners. They usually involve their partner in important life decisions, and are able to communicate their desires, expectations, and fears without difficulty. 

Negative Childhood Patterns Of Behavior

Adults who have formed negative childhood patterns of behavior suffer varying effects in their adult lives and relationships. It varies by personality, severity of neglect or trauma, and most of all by the type of trauma or neglect they suffered in their youth. 

Children who Experience Prolonged Abuse or Neglect 

Children who suffer prolonged abuse or neglect cannot rely on the people that they love most for healthy affection and support. In adulthood, they may fear intimacy and find it difficult to trust the people that they love. Conversely, they often recognize the value of positive relationships and crave the stability that they did not have as a child, but find it difficult to overcome longstanding fears.

Children who Are Ignored 

Children whose needs and wishes are ignored by their parents often react by becoming increasingly independent, and learning to rely on their own skills in order to take care of themselves at an early age. 

As adults, they may continue to prefer independence over commitment, and may struggle to form lasting attachments or to rely on other people for comfort and support. They may avoid saying “I love you,” or end relationships before things become too serious.

Children who Have Inconsistent or Situational Affection

Sometimes caregivers are hot one day and cold the next. Children who experience unreliable or inconsistent affection from the people they rely on may grow up to exhibit anxious-preoccupied attachment.These children are never sure what to expect from their caregivers, and cannot rely on consistent support and affection.

As adults, they often seek out strong connections. They might exhibit “clingy” behavior, or become hyper-vigilant to any slight changes in a relationship that could signal instability. These adults may need more reassurance that they are loved and wanted, in order to feel secure.

Although trauma can make it more difficult to form positive attachments and relationships, we can also work on changing our patterns of behavior. By understanding common factors that impact our relationships, we can identify areas to work on, and overcome any obstacles that might be holding us back. 

Ready Break Negative Patterns From Your Past?

If you’re in Houston and are ready to start your journey to success with an experienced, compassionate therapist and life coach, contact Renee Lederman today or call 832-969-3885 to schedule your first appointment.


Unshakable Resilience Workbook Visual Download now

Download my Unshakable Resilience Workbook. You’ll learn how to transform your life and your relationships and live a more balanced life.

setting Boundaries

Setting Boundaries

In any relationship, whether personal or professional, setting boundaries is vital. Your relationships will be healthier, and you will have the emotional and psychological space to thrive. Yet setting boundaries is a skill that can be tough to master. Here are some active steps you can take to create healthy boundaries.

Identify Your Boundary Limits

Setting boundaries requires you to do some introspection. How can you build a fence if you don’t know where your property line is? Begin by tuning into your feelings. Notice what situations cause you to feel uncomfortable, stressed, angry, or resentful. Odds are high that your feelings are caused by crossing your limits. Keeping a journal can help you take an objective look at stressful situations and identify which specific limits were crossed.

Know Non Physical And Physical Boundary Violations

There are many types of behavioral boundaries in relationships. It’s vital to understand specific boundary violations as you begin to set and master your boundary limits. This list illustrates  behaviors that are unacceptable. These behaviors and actions should not be tolerated or accepted as okay. Don’t let others cross the line. If they do, politely call it to their attention and let them know you are setting new boundaries and this is unacceptable for you. It may take several times of reminding them you are fully committed to improving your relationship and respect for your boundaries is going to be a necessary part of the process.  

Non Physical Boundary Violations:

  1. By word or deed, indicate that a person is worth less.
  2. Yelling or screaming.
  3. Ridiculing or making fun of.
  4. Lying.
  5. Breaking a commitment for no reason.
  6. Attempting to control or manipulate another person.
  7. Being sarcastic while being intimate. 
  8. Interrupting.
  9. Blaming.

Physical Boundary Violations:

  1. Standing in another’s personal space without his/her permission.
  2. Touching another person without his/her permission.
  3. Getting into a person’s belongings and living space such as one’s purse, wallet, mail and closet without his/her permission.
  4. Listening to a person’s personal conversations or telephone conversations without his/her permission. 
  5. Not allowing a person to have privacy or violating a person’s right to privacy.
  6. Exposing others to contagious illness.
  7. Smoking around nonsmokers in an identified non smoking area.

Be Forthright

Once you know what you can and can’t tolerate, don’t be afraid to tell people. You don’t need to go around announcing every boundary to every person—in fact, when dealing with people who have similar values and personalities to your own, boundary discussions may never come up, as you will likely approach each other in a similar way.

However, even people that you are very close to may have different boundaries than your own. When you notice yourself becoming tense and uncomfortable with someone, start a dialogue. Explain how you are feeling and what your boundary is. Some boundaries require a bit of compromise, as in a romantic relationship where one partner needs lots of space and the other needs lots of closeness, but you should never agree to behavior that is a clear violation of one of your boundaries.

Own Your Boundaries

Many people have trouble enforcing their boundaries due to feelings of guilt, fear, or self-doubt. Especially in your closest relationships, you might worry that you will anger the other person or even feel that setting boundaries means you are not a good partner, son, or daughter. In reality, though, boundaries are a sign of healthy self-respect and generally lead to healthier relationships. If someone becomes upset with your boundaries, it reflects that person’s issues, not yours. Own your boundaries and work hard to preserve them.

Remain Self-Aware

Very few people are naturally good at setting and sticking to boundaries. Now that you know how it feels when your boundaries are crossed, check in with yourself now and then. If you are starting to feel stressed or resentful, you may need to make a new commitment to honoring your boundaries.

Consider Environmental Factors

Your past and present environments play a large role in your ability to set healthy boundaries. If you were the caretaker of your family, you became accustomed to ignoring your own needs in service to others. If you are currently surrounded by psychologically unhealthy people, you may be giving more than you get. If you are in a job that demands a lot of overtime, you might feel pressured to constantly give more and more, regardless of what you need or want.

Combat these environmental drains on your boundaries by prioritizing self-care. As the airplane safety spiel goes, “put on your own oxygen mask first.” You cannot take care of others unless you are healthy and happy yourself. Identify the things that help you relax and put you in a good mood, and make time for them in your schedule. It is far easier to enforce your boundaries, and to navigate complex relationships, when you are in an energetic and peaceful state of mind.

Ask for Help

If you are having trouble with boundaries, find some help. There are numerous books and websites dedicated to the art of setting boundaries. Church groups, life coaches, mental health counselors, and even close friends or relatives can help you learn to set boundaries and hold you accountable for preserving them.

Take Baby Steps

You wouldn’t pick up a violin for the first time and expect to play a concerto. Any new skill requires a great deal of practice. Start with a small, nonthreatening boundary, and reward yourself for enforcing it. Over time, gradually build up to larger and more complex boundaries. With discipline and hard work, you will eventually find that setting and maintaining boundaries becomes second nature.

Ready to Get Started?

If you’re in Houston and are ready to start your journey to better mental and emotional health with an experienced, compassionate therapist, contact Renee Lederman today at 832-969-3885 to schedule your first appointment.


Unshakable Resilience Workbook Visual Download now

Download my Unshakable Resilience Workbook. You’ll learn how to transform your life and your relationships and live a more balanced life.

How do you define your boundaries

The Difference Between Good Boundaries and Bad Boundaries

Establishing healthy boundaries is an important part of being, well, healthy!

Clear boundaries in both our lives and relationships are the key to success in both. Whether you are out on a date with a new person or taking on extra work to help out some of your teammates at work, it’s crucial that your boundaries are well defined and well inforced.

Unfortunately, boundaries are not always healthy. Sometimes, the boundaries we put up designed to prevent us from being hurt or facing rejection can backfire, inflicting real harm on our ability to thrive.

So, what are some good boundaries and what are some bad boundaries?

Read more

Marriage & Couples Therapy + Boundaries Workshop

Intimacy & Communication Workshop For Couples

NEW – 2-Day Couples Boundary Experiential Workshop

This experiential workshop can accelerate healing and personal growth since the participants learn not only from their own work, but also from the work of the other participants. If you are near breaking-up and wish you could find a way to stay together this workshop will help you do that. If you want to deepen your connection – and desire a more positive and gratifying way of relating with each other, this workshop is for you.

Together you will learn how to:

  • Improve communication skills
  • Mitigate fighting and heal hurt
  • Understand and process your sadness about growing distant
  • Create deeper lasting connections
  • Avoid breaking-up and build connections through boundary setting and boundary respecting
  • Laugh and have fun together again

Experiential learning involves learning from experience which maximizes long-time change.

This two-day workshop is like having six months of therapy.

To learn more, call or contact for dates and pricing.

Love Addiction Therapy

Four Questions About Love Addiction You Were Afraid To Ask

(BUT SHOULD’NT BE) You are worth love, and you deserve all the wonders love can bring.

Love addiction

For most of us, the initial buzz of ‘falling’ in love is a wondrous, exciting part of a new relationship that eventually mellows with time, and hopefully, forms the necessary foundation for a long-term partnership. However, for some, the thrill of ‘falling’ in love isn’t just a phase—it’s actually the relationship. And for those suffering from love addiction, the benefits of getting past love’s initial thrill: trust, security, and familiarity, are often viewed as anything but desirable.  In fact, many love addicts suffer from a sensation of being unlovable, or unworthy of love, which leads them to constantly chase one relationship after another, and look to their partners to make them happy and solve their problems. Read more

Renee Lederman Couples Therapy

Reconnecting And Moving Forward After Infidelity



With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, love is everywhere. From stores selling heart-shaped boxes of candy to florists offering specials on red roses to TV stations everywhere re-running your favorite sappy love movie—the world seems to be in love with love in February. But what happens when love takes a wrong turn, and happily ever suddenly begins to feel like happily never after? Read more