What CRA character capacity is the ability to relate to God and others, to connect to something outside of ourselves, and to never be left without a way to get our needs met?

  1. Bonding
  2. Boundaries
  3. Reality
  4. Competence  

If you said bonding, you are correct!  Our students have recently completed CRA’s quarterly growth model emphasis on the character capacity of bonding, also known at attachment. This didactic series and related phase work emphasizes growth in the areas of connecting to others through attunement in relationships, connecting to self by being aware of emotions and learning to soothe or regulate, identifying relational needs and seeking to get them met in relational ways, and taking risks to trust and feel safe in appropriate relationships.

I have the privilege of teaching our growth model didactics and a front row seat to the evolution of our students in these character capacities.  I want to “pull back the curtain” and share with you what I see everyday.  I recently asked our students to reflect on some ways they have seen themselves grow in their ability to connect, bond, attach and relate to others.  Here are a few of their responses:

“I have grown in bonding by knowing my relational needs and seeking to meet them.  Also by trusting myself and others.”

“I have grown in bonding because I am now able to relate and talk with my parents and peers instead of shutting down. I’m also able to assert myself when necessary.”

“I’m able to reach out for help in a positive way and say what my needs are.”

“I’ve made a lot more growth in bonding by being honest. I’ve learned to be gentle but open with my parents. I’ve been able to attune to my family and peers.”

“I have grown so much in the area of bonding. I now know how to attune to others as well as attune to myself. I also now know more relational needs for myself and others. I can identify my emotions and get help when it is needed.”

“I have grown through bonding by using my attunement skills and AB communication.  I can reflect how I am feeling and trust others including myself to share my deepest fears and feelings.”

“I learned how to speak for my needs. I learned my feelings are valid.”

“I have learned how to stay in relationship even when there is conflict.”

“I have grown during our bonding unit by asking what peoples’ relational needs are and then using them when they need it.”

“I have gotten better at realizing what my emotions are and where I feel them in my body.”

“I am able to seek out my needs and identify them to others. I have healthy relationships and am able to attune to others. I have new mindfulness exercises that I put into practice daily. I meet others’ (around me ) needs healthily.  I value my own emotions and don’t take on emotions of those around me.”  

Hmmmm…. “Don’t take on emotions of those around me.”  That sounds like a different character capacity- maybe boundaries?  Lucky student, that’s our next didactic series!

Stacey Ruberg

-Stacey Ruberg, MA, LMHC
Compass Rose Academy Clinical Director