Personal autonomy is our right to be self determining, our right to
choose how we live our lives. It is I think of particular importance
when people are involved in any kind of therapeutic situation.
we have a desire for personal autonomy. We have a desire to be the
person who chooses how we live our lives. We have a desire not to be
controlled by others. As young children when we are learning about the
world we may be happy to follow what those we trust tell us, but, as we
all know as we approach adolescence we fight with fierce determination
for our right to change this situation and make our own choices,
independent of those whom we have been accustomed to following. If we
are not able to move into a position where we are self determining, if
we feel under the control of another then we find ourselves in a very
difficult situation. To not act in accordance with what feels right to
oneself results in severe mental confusion because we are not able to
be who we are. Indeed this problem begins far earlier than adolescence.
If as babies and young children our basic needs are not looked after,
or if we are expected to act in ways which are against our basic
nature, then damage will have been done in our psyche.