Avant Take: Ugly. Stupid. Fat. Crazy. These may be just a few of the choice words you’ve heard your clients levy towards themselves. Having an inner critic goes WAY beyond just being hard on yourself – driving incredibly intense and painful emotions and behaviors. How well do you really understand the development and function of these harsh voices? And once you’ve got that down, do you know how to calm the inner critic? Let Kathy Steele show you how – not only for your clients, but for yourself (because we all know saying, “that’s not true!” can really backfire in session)!
Kathy Steele, MN, CS
Kathy Steele, MN, CS has been in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia for over three decades, and is an Adjunct Faculty at Emory University. Kathy is a Fellow and a past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and is the recipient of a number of awards for her clinical and published works, including the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD. She has authored numerous publications in the field of trauma and dissociation, including three books, and frequently lectures internationally on topics related to trauma, dissociation, attachment, and therapeutic resistance and impasses.
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 email@example.com !
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.
- 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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