Liza Hinchey is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. Liza completed dual Master’s degrees in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy from Wayne State University, and works with individuals, families, and groups across a range of presenting issues.
Whether you have relatively few complaints regarding your childhood, or some more serious concerns you’d like to work through, choosing to care for yourself by going to counseling can offer you the chance to adjust these long-term patterns of thought and behavior that have lingered from your formative years.
Because of this, it is often said that therapy gives you the opportunity to “re-parent” yourself. What we experience and learn as children inevitably shapes us as we grow, but if you aren’t happy with the results, you do have the power to change them. With many of my clients, I work on helping them rework unhelpful beliefs about themselves and behaviors that no longer serve them, to create new patterns that get them the life they want.
Thinking of this in terms of “re-parenting” often brings an increased sense of self-compassion to the counseling process. For example, imagine you could speak to the child version of you. How would you treat that child? I’m guessing you’d probably be supportive, encouraging, and loving. It can be quite illuminating to compare this imagined interaction with how we may be treating ourselves as adults.
Do you berate yourself when you make a mistake, make negative comments about yourself when you look in the mirror, feel you aren’t ‘good enough’?
If so, try becoming aware of these thoughts when they occur, and thinking about what you’d say if you were your own parent for a moment. How would what you say to yourself change?