telephone: 416-556-9616    |    email: segaladam@sympatico.ca

Musings of a Toronto Therapist

A Common Thread: Recently, someone asked my if I notice any recurring themes in my therapeutic work with clients. This was a tough question because I have worked with clients facing so many unique and complex challenges -- and I do my best to see each person I work with as coming from their own distinct vantage point. One theme, though, that stood out for me was that of self-criticism. I'll describe this self-criticism as an ongoing and somewhat relentless thought stream of scrutiny and judgment that is self-directed. Many clients are initially hesitant to explore or possibly question their 'inner-critic' -- "Isn't that the voice that keeps me striving? How am I going to improve or excel if that critic isn't sparking me into action?"

Ironically, what often becomes clear is that inner-criticism seems to be at the heart of esteem problems, passivity, and general unhappiness -- all of which make it that much more difficult to pursue the fulfillig lives we all want. Therapy can be an opportunity to explore where we learned our specific tendencies toward self-criticsm and what might be holding us back from shedding our familiar and detrimental inner-critics.