We had a great training day last week: we were talking about boundaries and co-dependency. A lot of interesting discussion came up about co-dependency – being in a state of reliance upon external things (people, substances and other 'things’) to make you feel better about yourself.

It's the external that is the ‘co’ bit; being "co-dependent" need not necessarily involve another person. Ultimately, this need for external validation comes down to the life circumstances we find ourselves in and poor self-worth all leading to an inability to trust your own feelings, views and understanding of the world.

Since I've been training I’ve thought a lot about identity and the impact of growing up not trusting yourself. There’s a sickly logic to it – for many people, childhood experiences have left them fundamentally lacking in trust for others and consequently it is difficult to develop appropriate trust in self.

I think there’s a really important connection to self and self-trust that helps move people away from having to seek validation externally. This connection with self, and this understanding of who you are – both positive and less so – may not come easily and is often incredibly painful to engage with.

The training that we provide on the NEXT Project aims to give participants all the information and encouragement that is needed to undertake this process of developing an understanding relationship with self – and a simple belief that the things you feel, the thoughts you have and the dreams you may hold are you and they are ok.