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Copy of What Drives Controlling Behavior? - Part 2

What Drives Controlling Behavior?

As promised, let’s dive a little deeper on the subject of Controlling Behavior and where it comes from.

It’s a very complex topic and of course very personal to each individual’s experience. Be aware that this behavior is not just about one person trying to control others. It is just as often about attempting to control your own behavior and your own environment.

Let’s begin with a core concept: that Controlling Behavior can be an attempt to create a feeling of safety for yourself and others. What I’ve seen in my 35 years of Emotional Clearing practice is that much of it is the result of childhood trauma.


Our bodies store the memories of past painful, traumatic and threatening events in our nervous systems so that in the future, a similar threat will trigger a warming to us; often in the form of powerful emotions or emotional reactions and chronic protective behavior patterns.

What sort of childhood experiences are we taking about ? Here are some classic examples directly from my practice:

1. Many children grow up in a home where they were discouraged, punished or harshly judged for expressing themselves emotionally. This can lead to an adult who is shut down and doesn’t feel safe sharing their feelings. In relationship, a partner who genuinely wants to know how you feel, comes up against this block and doesn’t know how to make you feel safe enough to open up.

2. Children who experience a lot of dramatic change can also end up needing to control themselves, others and their environment. For example, having a parent who could shift suddenly from being loving one moment to downright dangerous the next. Also, families that moved a lot for whatever reason can end up needing a sense of control and stability that they never had.

3. Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse are all capable of resulting in a deep need for control on so many levels. So many of my patients grew up with insufficient food and nutrition which can lead to addictions and eating disorders and even hoarding; all as a way of soothing the past experience of worry about survival.

Another very common but lesser known situation is called the Vanished Twin Syndrome. This is where a twin dies in utero usually before 12 weeks. The surviving twin often comes into the world with a deeply held Limiting Belief that the world is not safe and that disaster can strike at any moment. This is a powerful driver of Controlling Behavior to keep yourself or your loved ones safe from danger. Kids will say , “My Mom is such a Control Freak” but there’s a deep reason for it. Over the years I’ve cleared a lot of Vanished Twin trauma bringing relief to these people who are walking around with fear and anxiety that is there all of the time and so hard to understand or release.

And finally, we are now recognizing that we all carry remnants of Generational or Ancestral trauma and it can affect our mental and physical health is many ways. For example, children of Holocaust survivors actually have less Cortisol in their bodies which can have many layers of impact on well being.

If you are someone who has done a lot of work on your emotional health and you still can’t find the root cause after many therapeutic approaches; you may carry some form of Ancestral trauma. If we go back far enough in our family lines, somewhere in the past our ancestors experienced threats of all kinds that leave a survival energy in the DNA and can be affecting us today in very real ways.

My years of clinical experience have taught me that the road to healing begins with self awareness. Very often, just acknowledging a problem and discovering its true root, can be enough to allow you to make a choice to alter your unhealthy behavior patterns. However, if you are aware and no matter what you try you can’t change your Controlling Behavior or let go of the deep fear and anxiety, then you may need outside help. Emotional Clearing is my primary tool for finding and releasing those stuck emotions and allowing you to move on minus those troublesome triggers.

Stay tuned as I blog and start to share actual patient stories and cover more topics I hope you will find interesting and helpful on your healing journey.

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