Related to common schema identification is an in-depth exploration of experiences with one’s family of origin sometimes relating as far back as infancy which have given rise to pervasive internalized conditioning over time. In recent years it has become widely accepted that “early childhood attachment“ experiences often precipitate characteristic ways of being in very young children that can often persist well into adulthood. Often, insecure, inconsistent early childhood attachment can produce anxiety in a young child resulting from an absence of “safety“ provided by one’s primary caretaker. In the case of attorneys, for example, this baseline of insecurity may give rise unconsciously to strategies that emphasize self-sufficiency and economic security; strategies that may become one’s predominant ways of orienting toward a broad range of life situations.
In addition, exploration of earlier childhood experiences and also formative experiences through grade school, middle school, high school, college, law school, and adulthood, can help instill a more clear sense that we are largely the result of identifiable “causes and conditions“ experienced earlier in life. This insight can instill the sense that behaviors we exhibit result from learned experience rather than being a part of some identifiable, unmalleable “self.“ When we can start to lessen our personalization of tendencies, we become less reactive as there is far less to “defend“ in terms of a previously identified “self.“