As a trauma therapist in Oakland, CA, I see many clients who experience an inner critic, from intense self criticism to cruel self-hatred. I encourage an empowering reframe: self-hatred has kept you safe, and protected you from intolerable feelings and experiences-- vulnerability, mistakes, accountability, disappointment, reckoning with trauma--but do you still need to be using self-hatred as a tool?
Self-hatred can serve as a form of protection in several ways.
Self-hatred may be a protective tool but it comes with a lot of long-term consequences-- limiting intimacy, depression, anxiety, and low self-worth...this can even encourage you to stay in abusive relationships. When you are stable, safe enough, secure enough, and resourced enough, it is time to let go of self-hatred and welcome self-compassion
When you are ready to process your past, when you are safe-enough, when you are resourced-enough, it is time to let go of self-hatred and embrace self-compassion (more on that here).
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why do people experience self-hatred?
***Resources are not a substitute for therapy and are not intended for making diagnoses or providing treatment. Not all practices and tools are suitable for every person. Please discuss exercises, practices, and tools with your individual therapist or health care provider.