Healing your Inner Critic
Your inner critic is that negative voice in your head; the one telling you that you're incompetent, unlovable, or just not good enough. Maybe it's not even a voice, maybe it's that feeling of dread before you express yourself, or the habit of talking yourself out of taking chances.
That voice, those feelings, were created as a survival plan learned by negative experiences and trauma. It's trying to tell you something the only way it knows how; negatively. So instead of saying "be careful we may get hurt if we expect to be loved," it will say "you shouldn't expect someone could love you."
Often we think we have to 'defeat' our inner critic; actually, the opposite is true. The inner critic is that part of you that is needing compassion, understanding, or love.
Healing the inner critic involves understanding where it comes from, and what it needs when it is activated.
We will work together to gain understanding of your inner critic, and how to best ensure new lessons replace old survival techniques. It takes time and practice, but keeping an open, embracing dialogue will help integrate your inner critic into new thought processes.
Hypnotherapy and EMDR can be very effective in helping to heal the inner critic. Click on Services above to learn more.
There is a cliché about therapists saying ‘tell me about your childhood,” but the fact is several theories focus on the importance of childhood events / environment on our development and the thoughts, feelings and behaviors we have as adults. Even if we don’t experience what we consider traumatic events in our childhood, we still may have learned detrimental lessons or false beliefs about ourselves, and our self-worth.
Inner Child Healing with Hypnosis
The wounded inner child doesn’t heal just because we grow up.
If you’ve read my blog or watched other videos I explain that the subconscious mind learns differently than the conscious mind. To briefly explain, the conscious mind learns by reasoning and logic - when we understand, we learn. The subconscious mind learns by either repetition or trauma; it doesn’t have to include logic every time. An example of this is driving. When we first learned to drive we thought about every single action - check the mirrors, click the seat belt, put the car in gear, etc. But now we get in and start driving while thinking about various other things, for example: work, or an argument we just had. The actual task of driving has become automatic. It’s so automatic that sometimes if we’re distracted with other thoughts while driving, the subconscious mind takes us to familiar places. Ever be heavy in thought and realize you’re driving to work on a day off? The subconscious mind is amazing that way.
Where it can be detrimental is when we “learn” lessons that are not necessarily for our greater good. For example; a child that hears ‘you’re so stupid’ or ‘you’re worthless’ - or not even hears it but feels those emotions of hurt, embarrassment, or shame over and over - those feelings get learned by our subconscious as a normal way of thinking.
As adults, we can reason out that these ‘lessons’ are false. We can say “I’m not stupid, I graduated college,” or “I’m lovable because I’m kind and loyal,” etc. But if your subconscious has not let go of what it has previously learned, those old detrimental thoughts will direct your behaviors without you even realizing it.
So how do we heal the inner child?
How I approach this in sessions is with awareness, cognitive behavioral therapy and hypnosis. What that means is that our first task is to find out what detrimental lessons, or false beliefs did that inner child learn? Where did it come from? This can take a session or two or more depending on the history involved. Intense trauma work can take more processing time and possibly additional techniques. Hypnosis can be used in these early stages to help manage anxiety and/or other symptoms; this is done by teaching the subconscious mind to achieve a state of relaxation. Once we establish what lessons need to be unlearned, we conduct sessions to allow the subconscious to accept suggestions that contradict those old, unhelpful thought patterns and often to communicate directly with that innocent, vulnerable inner child.
This is a general overview, the length and type of treatment is individual to the client’s needs and desired goals. If you have any questions or comments, I look forward to discussing them with you.