How Does The Family Context Influence Our Development? The 5 Wounds Of Childhood


The environments where a person is born and grows are crucial for their development. These environments include everything from the closest and most immediate environment, such as family and school, to broader contexts, such as culture and society as a whole. The interaction between all these systems influences the development and formation of the personality of each individual.

The family, as one of the first and most significant microsystems in which a child develops, plays a key role in the formation of childhood wounds. Family interactions, parenting patterns, and power dynamics within the home can leave a deep mark on a child. It is within this context that childhood wounds, according to Lise Bourbeau, find their origin. In this article we will describe what these 5 main wounds are and how to heal them.

What are Childhood Wounds according to Lise Bourbeau?

Childhood wounds refer to the emotional scars that originate during our first years of life. They are formed mainly due to behaviors of lack of love and acceptance on the part of our primary caregivers, as well as the interpretation that the child makes about their experience.

These wounds, although they may be subtle in their manifestation, can create dysfunctional patterns of thought and behavior that have the power to shape our personality, as well as impact the way we interact with the world and confront life’s challenges during childhood and childhood. adulthood. According to Lise Bourbeau, the 5 main wounds produced in the family context during childhood are the following.

1. Rejection

This wound forms when a child does not feel accepted or loved by his or her caregivers. It can manifest itself in the form of criticism, negative comparisons, or a lack of attention to emotional needs. This type of experience can lead the child to have feelings of inadequacy, of not being worthy of love, low self-esteem and a constant need for external approval, which can lead to difficulty establishing healthy relationships.

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Healing from rejection begins with self-love and self-acceptance. Bourbeau suggests practicing forgiveness towards oneself and towards those who have rejected us in the past. It is important to cultivate an attitude of compassion towards our own vulnerabilities and learn to appreciate and value ourselves to recognize our intrinsic worth as human beings worthy of love.

2. Abandonment

This wound arises when a child experiences the feeling of being left alone or neglected by their primary caregivers. This can occur due to the absence of the physical or emotional presence of the parents, the lack of secure attachment, and in some cases neglect. In these circumstances, the child may be left with a fear, sometimes extreme, of being alone, which often causes emotional dependence and a constant search for security and connection in their relationships.

To heal the wound of abandonment, Bourbeau emphasizes the importance of rebuilding a sense of security and inner connection. This involves learning to enjoy time alone, nurturing our own emotional needs, setting healthy boundaries in our relationships, and learning to trust ourselves to satisfy our needs for affection and support in order not to depend excessively on the attention of others.


3. Humiliation

This wound forms when a child is the subject of constant criticism or ridicule, ridicule, or contempt from his or her caregivers. This experience can undermine the child’s self-esteem and cause him or her to experience feelings of inferiority and contempt. He may feel unworthy and also experience feelings of shame in his relationships with his caregivers for what they say or do to him, as well as in his relationships with others.

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Healing from humiliation requires cultivating strong self-esteem and a positive self-image. Bourbeau recommends challenging self-critical thoughts and replacing them with positive, loving affirmations. Furthermore, it suggests practicing authenticity and self-expression, learning to value oneself without depending on the judgment of others, freeing ourselves from that fear, as well as appreciating our uniqueness. Work aligned with the ability to forgive those who caused you harm also helps to heal this wound.

4. The Betrayal

This wound arises when a child feels deceived, manipulated, or betrayed by those they trust. It may be the result of lies, unfulfilled promises, or abuse of trust by one of his caregivers. This type of experience can generate a feeling of distrust towards others and the need to control all situations, which also makes it difficult to establish relationships in a healthy and genuine way.

To heal the wound of betrayal, Bourbeau suggests working on rebuilding trust in yourself and others. This involves learning to set clear boundaries, communicate our needs and expectations assertively, as well as learning to discern which relationships are truly genuine and trustworthy and which others are not. It is important to also work on letting go of resentment towards those who have let us down.

5. Injustice

This wound originates when a child experiences or perceives a lack of equity, unequal or unfair treatment in their family or social environment. It can manifest itself in the form of favoritism, unfair privileges, or excessive punishment. This wound can generate a feeling of helplessness and indignation in the child, fueling feelings of resentment and helplessness, as well as a lack of control over one’s own life.

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Healing injustice, according to Bourbeau, involves forgiveness and the release of resentment toward those who have treated us unfairly. It also emphasizes the importance of understanding and accepting that life is not always fair, and remembering that the feeling of justice is partly subjective.

What we can do is find constructive ways to handle situations that we consider unfair and focus our energy on what we can control: our own attitude and response to adversity. Likewise, it suggests practicing gratitude and actively seeking balance and harmony in our lives.


In conclusion, the family context plays a fundamental role in human development and in the formation of personality and the five wounds of childhood, which range from rejection to injustice, can leave a deep mark on our being. Healing these wounds involves a journey of self-exploration, compassion and forgiveness.

By recognizing and understanding these past experiences, we can free ourselves from the emotional weight that binds us to the past and open ourselves to a life of wholeness and authenticity. Forgiveness, both toward ourselves and toward those who have hurt us, allows us to let go of resentment and move toward a fuller, more satisfying life.