Childhood abuse survivor Lauren says she has a hard time trusting people and admits that’s why she keeps them at arm’s length. Lauren was isolated from her siblings and kept locked in a dark closet for six years by her mother and stepfather. She says they only let her out to beat and abuse her.

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Now 23, Lauren is in a relationship with girlfriend, Janae, and is trying to reestablish a connection with her older sister, Blake, but says, “I’m very guarded, and I’m always pushing people away. And I get really lonely a lot of times because I feel like I have no one.”

In the video above, Dr. Phil encourages Lauren to stop isolating and continue breaking down the “walls” he says she’s put up to protect herself. “You stay behind the wall, you have loneliness, emptiness, and an emotionally barren life. You venture out, you might get hurt here and there, but you’re guaranteed to be hurt back here,” he tells her. “Now, maybe it’s just me, but if I’m saying, ‘OK on this hand I’m guaranteed to be hurt, on this hand, maybe … maybe not.’”

Tune in to Thursday’s Dr. Phil to see whether Lauren says she feels ready to start trusting people more.

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New Hope For Lauren