Healing the Pleaser

May 19, 2024

Beyond Pleaser

Pleaser. Appeaser. Fawning. Fixing. Rescuing. Parenting the parents. Over-responsibility. Over-giving. Enabling. Codependency.

Do you relate to any of these terms? These behavioural patterns can stem from growing up in a dysfunctional family, and how we react to the trauma.

Compared to fight-flight-freeze, please is the better problem, because it shows a great strength in the child, to be able to hold their emotions and take on the role of making it better for others.

Unfortunately, the child tends to blame themselves for the dysfunction, getting stuck in low self-worth. Also, they probably have not received good attention, so have little awareness of their own feelings, needs or wishes. They have often been the one abused as the scapregoat.

Boundaries are a resulting issue too; it can be impossible to say “yes” to what is wanted, “no” to what is not wanted. We have no voice to assert ourselves in life.

The pleaser person gives too much, and has a real problem receiving from others.


If you are a pleaser type, the good news is you are better at therapy, because you have inherent capacity to take ownership of your emotions, to reflect on self: and we all know, you have to see it to free it. With time and good professional help, you can face, feel and heal the trauma within, allowing the reactive patterns to gradually erode away.

For the most efficient progress, I suggest approaching the patterning from three sides at once:


Educate yourself about the psychology of trauma and fawning/pleasing, self-defeating dynamics.

Inner child work in self-hypnosis to bring the missing love and respectful attention to the subconscious parts deep within.


Release work to clear the trapped feelings from childhood, knowing it always is uncomfortable and messy (no easy fix here). Find your strength and courage and dive in.

EFT, Emotion Code, Breathwork, Focusing; find a modality and practitioner that you trust and begin, slowly, safely and manageably.


Our nervous system holds our body in old defensive patterns, blocking openness, change, joy.

Network spinal, Craniosacral, Bowen, trauma-informed Yoga, Somatics, Dance; explore a range of approaches to help address the stuckness in your body. Keep turning up for what works for you.

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