“Ouch!” I’m driving home from a party and there is nobody else in the car and yet I feel like I am getting yelled at. My skin tingles uncomfortably and I feel my stomach clench. “Why did you say that? Everybody was having a good time until you ruined it. Why can’t you pay more attention to what’s going on around you? You shouldn’t be allowed out of the house. What is wrong with you?”

These are the voices that I used to hear nonstop. When I started going to therapy it was helpful to learn that Inner Critics are like belly buttons; everybody has one. More importantly, my therapist helped me to get to know my Inner Critic. For example, I asked my Inner Critic why it felt the need to speak to me so harshly. Surprisingly I heard that it criticized me first so that nobody could ever hurt me again. It thought that if it criticized me enough, I wouldn’t make mistakes and get punished by authority figures. I asked the Critic where it learned to treat me like that and it led back to my childhood. Over time, I helped my Critic to see that I’m much older now and things are safer. The criticism helped me to stay safe back then but I don’t need it now. I have healthier, gentler ways to stay safe. Over time, my Critic learned to trust me and let me use my new coping strategies. It has become a lot less painful to be in my skin. My Critic now has the job of pointing out my growth edges with calmness and sometimes humor.

If you have an Inner Critic that is stuck in the old patterns of using hard, harsh energy, I would love to help. We can begin the process of getting to know the Critic and helping it to transform. It may sound far-fetched that these Critics who wield psychological weapons can become open to the idea of using new ways to keep us safe and help us grow. However, I have experienced it personally and I have helped many folks with this process. Please reach out to me at Love Heal Grow Counseling if you would like to feel supported in living a life with less inner criticism and more space for learning, adventure, and wholesome connections.

Susan DuBay Therapist Sacramento CA Online

Hi, I’m Susan DuBay, therapist for individuals and couples at Love Heal Grow Counseling.

I help​ individuals and couples who want to do deep work to heal from hurts of the past while learning to love even the parts of themselves or their partners that they judge or don’t understand. You can experience more fulfillment in your life and relationships! I’m here to support you.

You can read more about me or schedule an appointment here: About Susan

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