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Journey to Wholeness - Online Psychotherapy

Decoding Negative Self-Perception: How it Starts and Where it Leads

After 28 years of being a psychotherapist, I have seen one constant… no matter what the issue some thinks they are dealing with, at the core is always a perception of feeling negative about oneself.

So let’s unpack the notion of negative self-perception…

Human beings are not born with a negative self perception… period… we are creatures created defined through learning…. so the relationship between a self-perception and learning goes like this…

Let’s begin the journey with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs…

  • Physiological needs….. food, water, warmth, rest
  • Safety needs…. security, safety
  • Belonging and love needs… intimate relationships, friends, family
  • Esteem needs… prestige and feeling of accomplishment
  • Self actualization needs…achieving one’s full potential, creativity


Every human being aspires to have all their needs met… and as we all know too well, all of us have certain needs met and certain needs unmet. What is also as important is how the needs are met or unmet – what is the psycho-spiritual environment in which these needs are met?

I will use a theoretical example… let’s take two people who grew up in poverty where the physiological and safety needs were barely met…

Person A in this situation grew up in this situation with loving and supporting parts struggling financially, but their attitude and environment is of hope, resilience, and togetherness… so, even though the child experience deprivation in these basic needs, what they will remember in their body-mind is that they are seen and supported… therefore as an adult, this person will maintain a positive self-image because the parents maintained a hopeful and supportive outlook. The person will be resilient and will be more likely to meet the basic needs and move on through to self-actualization.

What happens within a loving and supportive environment is what is called the holding space for the potential of the person. When the primary figures give room for the child to be themselves, without having to take on the parental unfinished business, children feel free to show up. They feel they can have their needs met and this gives room to exploration and creativity.

Now let’s look at the other side of development…

The same person seeking the same needs, but the parental environment is toxic… and that could be mild to severe… and the severity is determined by the amount of work parents have done with their own psyche… in toxic environments, parents are dominated by their own inner struggles which then interfere with their own hierarchy of needs. So they themselves are carrying negative energies and beliefs… and therefore a child in that situation will be faced with both the struggles to acquire basic needs and the overwhelming issues of the parents… THIS IS WHERE NEGATIVE SELF PERCEPTION IS FORMED…

So, begin the journey…

A child is an energetic sponge…


About Alex Boianghu

Journey to Wholeness - About Alex Boianghu - Psychotherapist | Negative Self-Perception
With Journey to Wholeness, my aim is to make psychotherapy readily available to everyone around the world in the comfort and privacy of their homes.

From my perspective, the goal of therapy is to let go of outdated ways of living that make you feel “stuck” or “in survival mode”, so that you can live in freedom, joy and success. You can learn more about me here.

In addition to psychotherapy, I am offering a variety of courses, practices, articles and videos covering a wide range of psycho-spiritual topics. Please feel free to get in touch with me for a free 15-minute consultation in which we can address your questions and discuss a plan of action for your specific needs.

I am deeply moved to walk together on the path of healing with YOU.  Join me!

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