18 September 2020
Self-criticism tends to develop a sense of worthlessness and affects our relationships. Being overly self-critical is very common among my clients. This affects how we perceive ourselves, how we relate with others and also how our brains work, with a tendency to perpetuate feelings of inadequacy.
Self-criticism creates a vicious circle. It causes us to shut down and to distance ourselves from others for fear of being rejected, ridiculed or shamed. Then isolation prevents us from experiencing the support of friends and family members and increases a sense of being unlovable and uncared for.
One of the aims of mirror therapy is to develop a healthier relationship with ourselves. When I ask my clients to look at themselves in the mirror, they often feel ashamed about that the person in the mirror. I guide my clients to experience the critical self (and the suffering self) reflected in the mirror by using a number of skills to help the brain develop new ways of experiencing self. An important component of this process is the way I, as the therapist, interact with my patients by expressing understanding, acceptance and compassion, while applying a unique combination of therapeutic interventions.
Mirror therapy can help us to connect re-connect with ourselves and to feel close to ourselves. My patients often tell me that, through mirror therapy, they have been able to look at themselves in a compassionate, benevolent and non-critical way for the first time, just as they would with their best friend.
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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels