Unmet needs drive our actions. We eat because we are hungry and drink because we are thirsty. And why do we sleep? You guessed it. Because we are tired.
Of course there can be exceptions — maybe you aren’t hungry, but want to eat anyway because something just tastes so good. But virtually everything we do is to meet some type of unmet need — even if we don’t realize it.
We all have several different types of needs. There are physical, social, intellectual, personal, emotional, and probably a few more types of needs. If you are familiar with counseling Idaho Falls, you are likely also familiar with the Hierarchy of Needs developed by Abraham Maslow in the 1950s.
Interestingly, with the exception of the most basic level of physical survival, all of our needs are emotional in nature. Common unmet emotional needs include acceptance, appreciation, comfort, nurture, love, and validation. Have you experienced the need for these things? We all have.
We are happy when these needs are met. And when those needs go unmet, we are driven to do the things that we do in an attempt to meet our needs. However, sometimes issues can arise because we don’t know what or how to do what it takes for our needs to be met.
5 Common Unmet Needs
For many people, situations in their childhood are the reason for unmet needs as an adult. Here’s a look at 5 categories of needs that can impact people when they become adults — common reasons that people need counseling Idaho Falls.
What makes people feel secure? Having confidence that they are protected from physical and emotional danger. When that doesn’t happen for someone when they are young, those feelings can stick around for years, or even decades.
It may lead to them seeking that type of security from their significant other as an adult. This can lead to unhealthy relationships filled with a desperate fear of losing that person. They may become controlling, clingy, or insecure. Or, it could go the other way where you develop behavior that pushes people away and alienates your potential spouses.
When children don’t receive approval and appreciation (for any variety of reasons), it frequently leads to them having a compulsion for pleasing others. This can impact personal, professional, and social relationships.
This type of behavior takes its toll over time. It is stressful to feel this way and eventually it leads to fatigue and the fear of failure. People who feel this way often lose the ability to say no — which can become a completely different set of issues to deal with.
When something happens to you and your control is taken away, you may develop a strong need to have control throughout your life. One example of this is abuse. For some, even witnessing a traumatic event can cause this to be an issue down the road.
Signs that this is happening include a need to micromanage others, suffering from constant agitation, and irritability. Others include binge eating, substance abuse, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder. Sound familiar? If you have control issues, consider counseling Idaho Falls to get those issues under control.
Validation is like a stronger version of approval. It manifests as a compulsion to make others feel good. The difference is that it requires more than just approval. Things like praise and compliments are needed for accomplishments, talents, looks, etc.
These feelings manifest and multiply on social media — especially in younger people. If you find yourself posting photos and selfies in the hopes that you’ll get “likes” then that would be considered seeking validation.
We all want and need love. An unfulfilled need for love is often the basis for many unmet needs. Neglect, abandonment, criticism, abuse, etc, all lead to people feeling unloved.
This manifests in different ways for different people. It may be an attraction to unhealthy relationships. It may be mental health issues like depression, self-esteem, or substance abuse. The reason is because the person is attempting to fill a void left by the unmet need for love.
Counseling Idaho Falls Expert Advice
The leading counseling Idaho Falls professional, Bob Stahn at Wellspring Counseling has valuable advice for anyone with unmet needs. Bob believes that emotional needs drive human behavior more than anything else.
This comes from decades of experience as a mental health professional in Idaho Falls. “When I ask new clients what they want to gain from our time together in counseling Idaho Falls, nearly always their response includes that they want to be happy,” he said. “It’s an emotional need that is not being met. Their unmet need motivates them to seek help.” The question is whether a person is going to attempt to find what they need through positive or negative behavior.
Some positive behaviors that are motivated by emotional needs are serving family, helping friends or the community. So are developing relationships, having fun, expressing creativity, working at a profession or increasing our spirituality.
On the other hand, crime, codependence, addictive behavior, and trying to control the lives of others are negative behaviors we do in an effort to meet unmet needs.
What To Expect In A Session
A counseling Idaho Falls session usually lasts 60 minutes, although longer sessions might be considered useful. It is generally recommended to have weekly sessions. Between sessions, clients are encouraged to think about and process what was discussed.
At times, you may be asked to do something specific outside of the therapy sessions, such as reading a relevant book or keeping records. For the therapy to “work,” you must be an active participant, both during and between the therapy sessions.
Not all of our motivations are the same. Some may be tremendously strong. Others are just mildly strong and only encourage us to have tendencies toward certain behaviors. Even altruistic acts are done in an effort to meet an unmet need of being helpful, generous or kind.
Some of our emotional needs can be met by other people. With counseling Idaho Falls, you’ll explore meeting YOUR OWN emotional needs and increase your chances of getting needs met by others.
How often do we get upset when someone doesn’t react the way we wanted — not meeting a need? Remember, rule #1 is that NO ONE ELSE CAN MAKE YOU HAPPY. HAPPINESS COMES FROM WITHIN. Sometimes, counseling Idaho Falls is the perfect way to discover your specific emotional needs and what you can do to get them met.