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Step One: Externalise and Befriend your Inner Critic

Students Walking Home

Research points to the importance of externalising your tough inner critic, instead of viewing it as "the self". Buczynski (2021) notes "a harsh inner critic can take away a client's ability to develop a real sense of who they are" (NICABM 2021; How to Work with Clients who Struggle with an Inner Critic module 1; 00:33)
Befriending your inner critic instead of viewing it as a problem to be completely eliminated, can reduce feelings of shame within the client.  In addition, when not toxic or hyper-critical, the Inner Critic can support us to be productive and can encourage self-improvement. Critique rather than criticism can encourage clients towards helpful change. And the Inner critic may have a particular function for our client that we might want to discover.

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