Calming the Inner Critic


Note: This live virtual workshop took place in September 2021. If you’re interested in seeing this topic presented again, please contact us at !

Everyone experiences an inner critic, based on negative messages from authority figures and from ourselves in reaction to unrealistic expectations of perfection and emotions such as fear, shame, contempt, or envy. In this workshop we will explore an integrative approach to understanding and working with a wide range of inner criticism, punishment, and harshness in our clients, but also in ourselves as therapists. In complex trauma this natural phenomenon can become more intense, overwhelming, and sometimes more dissociated. We will explore how these inner aspects develop, and understand their several functions of protection, avoidance, and attempts to gain or maintain validation and care from others. We will discuss how to understand and manage several different types of aggression toward others that are evoked by inner criticism. Participants will have an opportunity to explore their own inner critic with compassion as a step toward helping clients learn to deal with their own. Our ability to reflect on our own tendencies toward self-criticism and perfectionism will support our capacity to work with these experiences in our clients.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the key functions of inner critics.
  • Analyze the developmental origins of inner critics.
  • Employ at least 4 ways to reduce the intensity of inner criticism.
  • Identify your own inner critic and ways to calm self-criticism, particularly in your role as therapist.

Continuing Education Credit – 3 Hours

  • APA – Avant Training is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Avant Training maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • GSCSW –  This workshop is approved for Core CE hours through the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work.
  • LPC, LMFT- Related hours


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