Emotional Needs

Emotional Needs

Most of the clients who do refer to psychotherapy declare that they do not have any obvious reason to feel unsatisfied and/or restless. Yet it is known that none of the beings feel unsatisfied and/or restless without any reason.   

We won’t be physically sick without any reason. In most cases, we would not meet the needs of our bodies and get sick. The same is true for the psychological health. The psychological illnesses ocur when we do not meet the emotional needs. 

The basic emotional needs:

1. Secure attachment

The origins of secure attachment have been occuring during babyhood. If the baby feels secure and relaxed with the primary caregiver, believes that the caregiver would be there to meet the needs and would come to meet them even if he/she leaves her/himself, then the baby would have a secure attachment. The opposite is true for insecure attachment. Insecurely attached baby would either cling to caregiver and could not tolerate his/her absence, or be insensitive to the absence or presence of the caregiver. 

This phenomenon is true for the adulthood as well. Especially in romantic relationships, insecurely attached partners would be highly intolerant to the absence of the other one. In this scope, the insecurely attached partner would extremely react to other’s need of personal space and time. This intolerance attitude would cause to punish and/or criticise the other one. 

2. Expressing the emotions and needs

Expressing the emotions is as crucial as feeling them. To meet this need, the responsibility is both on the expressor and the receiver. For instance, when a person says that “I do not feel good today” if the receviver would answer it as “There is not any reason to feel bad” then the expressor would feel to not have any empathy to him/herself. In the same regard, when the receiver answers as “You are exaggreating”  then the expressor would feel as if he/she is judged or criticised. 

If a person receives those kinds of answers, then he/she would learn to not express the emotions and tend to be silent at all. Unexpressiveness and being silent would block to meet this need. 

3. Autonomy

Autonomy could be summarised as being independent. The independency could be about making independent decisions, being adequate for yourself, justifying your own thoughts and emtions etc. The one of the ultimate features of being psychologically healthy is being autonomous.

In some cultures, parents and even romantic partners could be very intrusive and with the cover of “protectivenes”. Yet being overprotective would damage one’s autonomy.

4. Spontaneity and Fun

Being spontaneous and having fun are not a “luxury” thing but it is on of the basic emotional needs for being a psychologically healthy adult. The concept of fun could change person to person. One could enjoy games while the other could enjoy nature but both would meet the need of the person.

The concept of “responsibility” could be one of the obstacles fort he spontaneity and fun. Beginning from the childhood, one is surronded by homeworks, exams etc. and the same would continue in adulthood as well. The one of the biggest reason of burn-out is unsatified need of spontaneity and fun.

5. Realistic limits

Personal space and time are one of the biggest examples of the limits. Once your limits are run, you would feel trapped, insecure and uncomfortable. 

Same with autonomy, some parents and partners tend to run the limits because of being “helpful”. They could easily break your personal space and time which would make you to feel uncomfortable, irratable, depressed and anxious. Yet the same is true for other people as well. If you run their limits for being “helpful” then they would be uncomfortable as well. Thus having realistic limits do mean that you are protecting your own limits and zone while respecting to others’ limits and zones.

The above needs are not “luxury” things but they are basic emotional needs. None of them are replacable with the other one and to be psychologically healthy all of them are needed to be satisfied. 

The one of the fundamental goals of the psychotherapy is making the client to be aware of him/her emotional needs and determining useful and functional sources to meet them.