Healing and Transforming Negative Self-Image in Therapy

IMG_0752“Be careful how you speak to yourself because you are listening.” ~ Lisa M. Hayes

Having a low sense of self-worth can oftentimes feel like there is no hope for change and being so entrenched in one’s own negative self-concept that it seems impossible to think any differently. It can lead one to make poor choices regarding mental and physical health, career choices, and relationships. Having a poor view of oneself can often be traced way, way back to the developmental years. Sometimes the struggles we face when it comes to how we feel about ourselves stem from not getting simple needs met when we were growing up. In therapy, we will practice tending to these parts that hold the beliefs that inhibit you from feeling capable and worthy, and enhance your ability to be compassionate and gentle with yourself in the face of adversity and achievement alike.  We can create space for you to see yourself with clarity and gentleness, shed the layers of those false beliefs, and explore from this place who you want to become, speaking from your own authentic self.

The Inner Critic

Are you familiar with that internal voice that nags you over and over about how you said something stupid in that conversation or presentation, that relentlessly criticizes your reflection in the mirror, that reminds you of how inadequate you are compared to peers and colleagues, and that tells you that you are just not good enough? That is the voice of our inner critic, and we all have one to some degree. Most of us have at least one thing we want to change about ourselves but what some of us have more than others, however, is the ability to dial down the volume of the inner critic, and the freedom to choose whether or not to pay it any mind. In our work together, we will explore your personal story of self-criticism — where it came from, and what it’s really needing behind all the bullying, disappointment, disgust, shame, and guilt. In our sessions together, we will untangle the oftentimes addictive and confusing relationship you have with the inner critic and develop the capacity to choose how to respond: do you want to listen to the damaging negative self-talk that leads to depression, loneliness, anger and anxiety, or try something new and unfold into the wholeness of yourself, unbounded by confining and limiting beliefs?

Below are some recommended reads for building self-acceptance and self-worth:

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

Appetites by Caroline Knapp

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

tumblr_nx2mffwx6N1uojw98o1_500 “Masks”

She had blue skin, and so did he. He kept it hid, and so did she. They searched for blue their whole life through. They passed right by — and never knew.

~ Shel Silverstein

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email:   amyhyunswart@gmail.com  phone:  650-762-9220
Office located in Union Square, San Francisco