JUNE 24 - 26, 2021 / WORLDWIDE
The ‘Vitamin’ Metaphor for Unmet Core Emotional Needs
In order to explain core emotional needs and make them more accessible to ourselves and others, I propose the use of a medical metaphor.
“A vitamin is an organic compound that is essential for the normal growth and metabolic processes of a human being. If a vitamin is missing over longer periods of time, a deficiency will ensue. Vitamin deficiencies in childhood can have devastating lifelong consequences. Ricketts for example can lead a severe deformation of bones in a child, and Ricketts develops as a deficiency of Vitamin D during childhood.”
Similar consequences happen to a child that does not get emotional needs met: The sequelae can be life-long, going into adulthood. ‘Needs’ are more than ‘wishes’: Like with Vitamins for our physical well-being, we cannot do without them in the longer run. Emotional Vitamins are essential for our long-term psychological well-being”.
It can be difficult for both patient and therapist to remember what needs there are.
As a mnemonic, and as a practical tool to ‘feed’ oneself more systematically, I have grouped ‘vitamins’ into the five ‘Youngian’ groups with easy-to-remember names:
“Vitamin@” (“at”) Attachment, Attunement, Attention, safety, care et al.
“Vitamin S” - Skill-building & Sense of Identity, Self & Autonomy
“Vitamin X” – Expressing Valid Needs, Preferences, Emotions
“Vitamin P” - Play and Spontaneity
“Vitamin L” – Kind Setting of Limits to Self and Others
This metaphor serves as a way to explain more pragmatically a) what needs are b) how important the meeting of emotional need is at all times is c) that unmet needs lead to long-term damage when happening during childhood (and adulthood) d) that needs can be grouped and labelled in a way that they can be understood and remembered more easily e) that that labelling can help meet adult needs more systematically in therapy and in their daily life.
The talk will outline how this metaphor can be communicated in a playful way. The meeting of core emotional needs while being isolated during lockdown can be achieved with the help of ‘vitamin’ charts and creative thinking about how to get your daily ‘vitamin’ dose met.
About the Presenter
Florian Ruths: COMING SOON
CANCELLATION POLICY: No cancellation is possible once registered. Access to all sessions will be available after the summit ends to registered participants. For questions, please contact the ISST Office at: OFFICE
Are you an ISST Member? Enjoy deep discounts on tickets for the 2021 ISST Virtual Summit.
New York, USA
©2021 International Society of Schema Therapy e.V.
International Society of Schema Therapy e.V. is a not-for-profit organization. Glossop-Ring 35, DE-61118 Bad Vilbel, Germany
Why Schema Therapy?
Schema therapy has been extensively researched to effectively treat a wide variety of typically treatment resistant conditions, including Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Read our summary of the latest research comparing the dramatic results of schema therapy compared to other standard models of psychotherapy.