Dealing with self criticism

Most of us experience self criticism. We may be aware of it or we may not. When we notice repeating patterns in our life there is usually an internal voice or belief system at its root. Our internal critic can have a powerful effect on the way with think about ourselves and consequently the way we live our life. Sometimes our critic can be subtle and sometimes it can be demanding, sometimes it can be disguised as friendly advice. How often have we tried to change something in our life and at a crucial point we hear our inner voice saying “it’s ok you don’t need to do that” and when we listen and act on it we have just reinforced our old pattern and broken our new one. This voice sounds friendly but there is a subtle cruelness which sabotages our desires.

Usually we are more aware of the harsh internal critic and this is hard to deal with. Sometimes we deal with our self critical voice by externalising it and therefore becoming critical of others, but more often we internalise it and become self critical. Both of these styles harm us in a different way Both these ways of coping with the internal critic lead to ways of being which are not fully realised. In other words we limit ourselves because criticising others limits our relationship with them and criticising ourselves affects our relationship with ourselves

To deal with our self criticism it is vital that we first become aware of its messages and how the internal critic functions. This can often take time to do because sometimes we have become so aligned with our critic that we experience no separation between it and ourselves. So we can feel that our critic is us. However we have internalised this from somewhere so, even now we may feel it is who we are, the messages originate from outside of us.

These criticisms originate from a different time and a different place.

Separating ourselves from the critic enables several things. It enables us to experience the inter-rational dynamic with our critic. We see where it has come from, how it has shaped the way we are, what our attachment is to it and why. Understanding what our attachment is to our critic is the process by which we can start to develop a different way of relating to it. When we are able to see the reasons behind our critics existence and the function it has served for us, our attachment to the critic can change and therefore its influence is reduced.

Eventually our critic can dissolve and we can find who we are without meeting the demands of the, once powerful and persuasive, critic. From this separation we can experience a sense of liberation and discover who we are independent or our internal critic.

CURRENT NEWS: I offer a 50% reduction for the initial consultation.

The initial consultation will last 50 minutes and will give you a chance to meet with me so you can get a sense of what psychotherapy with me will be like. The price for this is £35.

To make an appointment call on 07941 488851, or go to Initial Consultation for further information.


Psychotherapy can help us:

  • Take control of our life
  • REDUCE CONFLICT: internal
    and interpersonal
  • Overcome our struggles
  • Deal with DEPRESSION
  • Find meaning and purpose in life
  • Overcome difficult feelings: anxiety, ANGER, grief, fear
  • Deal with stress
  • Cope with psychiatric illness
  • Increase the quality of our relationships
  • Deal with panic attacks
  • Get out of our stuck experiences
  • Grow and develop
  • Learn new parenting skills
  • Overcome sexual difficulties: past or present
  • Deal with domestic abuse: past or present
  • Deal with self-limiting beliefs
  • Discover who we are
  • Stop smoking
  • Increase our self awareness
  • Learn how to succeed
  • Increase our self-esteem
  • Deal with obsessive behaviour
  • Change our negative thinking

Thank you for visiting my website

Hello and welcome to the Kingston Psychotherapy website. My name is Michael Hartley. I am a qualified psychotherapist and have been in private practice since 1995. I offer psychotherapy for individuals and couples.

What you can find on this website

This website has information about what psychotherapy is and how it may help you. You can also find information about the types of issues you can address in psychotherapy. There is also information about psychotherapy for couples which you may find helpful if you are considering couples therapy.

Further to this I have written a brief autobiography so you have some knowledge about me, what my experience and level of expertise is. I have included this because I believe choosing the right therapist is a crucial ingredient in the success of psychotherapy. I hope this information is of use to you.

If you want to discuss anything further or want to arrange an initial consultation then call me on 07941 488851 or EMAIL ME.

I hope you find what you are looking for.