September is National Self-Improvement Month. If you’ve been waiting for some extra motivation to become a better person, develop healthier habits, or let go of self-sabotaging behaviors, this is the right time to do it.
Going to therapy regularly can help you achieve your self-improvement goals. A psychodynamic psychologist in Birmingham, AL, explains how:
It Helps You Challenge Negative Thoughts
Everyone has an “inner voice” that influences how they feel about themselves and how they relate to the world. Some call it an inner critic, and there are times when their self-criticism gets out of hand. When this happens, negativity and low self-esteem can take hold of a person.
In therapy, you learn how to identify and challenge these negative thoughts. Eventually, you figure out how to replace them with more positive, self-affirming reflections.
It Teaches You to Be Kind to Yourself
People tend to be more forgiving and kinder to others than they’re to themselves. A poor self-image starts to take shape when you’re always negatively comparing yourself to others—or when you consider yourself as “not good enough” or unworthy.
Unconditional positive regard, one of the core elements of psychotherapy, can be incredibly powerful. Your therapist accepts you as you are, and encourages you to improve from a place of self-compassion instead of self-loathing.
It Enables You to Identify Your Values and Live Accordingly
Many people find there’s a difference between how they live and how they feel they should be living. Inconsistency between one’s values and lifestyle can lead to unhappiness. It’s not uncommon for someone in such a scenario to feel lost, resentful, or unfulfilled.
If this sounds familiar, a therapist can help you identify your values and implement them in your life. Together, you can make an action plan for living an authentic life that lets you be true to who you are.
It Improves Your Relationships
If you’re someone who struggles with relationships—platonic or otherwise—you could also be dealing with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Often, people wonder what’s wrong with them that keeps them from maintaining friendships or romantic relationships.
Therapy first improves your relationship with yourself. Over time, how you relate to your therapist will show you how you relate to others. Sometimes your therapist will point out a dynamic, and, at other times, you might notice a pattern on your own.
Since the therapist-client relationship is a safe space, it can help you improve how you engage with others and practice healthier behaviors.
About David E. Myers, PhD
Dr. David E. Myers is a leading psychologist in Birmingham, AL. His counseling services in Birmingham can also be availed by people in Vestavia Hills, Hoover, Mountain Brook, and Gardendale. He offers depression and anxiety treatment, as well as relationship counseling.