Critical voice is a well-integrated pattern of destructive thoughts towards ourselves and others. The voice can become dominant in our daily lives, continually transforming itself into inner dialogue, where we split ourselves into two parts: the Critic and the Listener. Soon we catch ourselves doing things we have never done before, like binge eating or drinking, to soothe the mental pain. Instead of being led by one’s core values, the person who obediently listens to this voice no longer acts in their own self-interest, simply because the Inner Critic stubbornly discourages them to do so. One no longer lives a fulfilling life inspired by one’s values. Distancing themselves from the life of purpose and meaning, the person might also distance themselves from their partner, or threaten relationships with significant others. They could also have problems in everyday performance and productivity at work, suffer from low self-esteem, become increasingly distrustful in themselves and others, turn to alcohol and substance abuse, etc.
Mindfulness is not only a type of practice associated with silent meditation in a quiet room. It is much more than that—it is an embodied experience which we live every day, breathing in and breathing out. While in the therapy room, we as therapists try to cultivate a mindful attitude during the whole day with … Continue reading Mindfulness in psychotherapy and beyond
Inner child is real—it’s not real in the sense in which the desk which I am writing this blog post on is real, or the car on the parking lot in front of the building where I live. Inner child is real in the psychological and phenomenological sense of the word: It is a metaphor, … Continue reading Reconnecting with the inner child
Psychotherapy is successful when boundaries between the therapist and the client are well-defined. As in any relationship between two people, it is an ongoing process of defining borderlines between the two personalities. However, in psychotherapy there are some ethical concerns, norms and guidelines which are very important to follow. Boundaries are a crucial element in … Continue reading Boundaries in psychotherapy
Embarking on therapy is an important and difficult decision. The client may not have experienced anything similar to this before. Seeing a stranger for the first time and talking about personal, intimate issues can be very difficult and the client might perceive it as an artificial situation. Usually the first session is about gathering basic … Continue reading Building trust in psychotherapy
Hugs are integral part of our intimate relationships with others—a sign of affection with friends, family and spouses, and even with strangers we meet along the way. With hugs, we exchange feelings and meanings on non-verbal level which seems rather different from our everyday interaction, deeply entrenched in many words that we utter during one … Continue reading Hugs in psychotherapy: Good or bad thing?