As part of recently having a business coach, I’ve been seeing a professional psychologist for an assessment of personal impediments and evaluation of learning style. I’ve looked for an excuse to have some counselling for some time … not because anything is really wrong, but like chiropractic, an adjustment now and then just makes sense. Besides, a lot of issues I have been aware of for years, though nothing major, I never got around to addressing, and it’s much easier having someone help you through it.
One of those issues is harsh self-criticism as an occasionally obsessive thought habit, even about little things. Sean (my psychologist) asked me to sing my criticisms / admonishments when they happen. I asked if it was a typo … and it wasn’t. Just staying conscious of the pattern reduced it to where I didn’t really do it, but I caught myself and finally was able to sing (within my head, not out loud) the gist of a criticism over something mundane and unimportant.
I actually burst out into laughter that lasted for some time, to the point of tears. Ironically, it happened in the tissue isle at Wegman’s, and though no one was in my immediate vicinity, I must have been quite a sight, leaning against the shelves in an unexpected catharsis. Maybe that was the point — to realize the ridiculousness of such petty self-criticism on a more limbic level. I think this is what Dianetic auditors refer to as “blowing the charge” (I can’t recall the Freudian terminology).
Even after the three coaching-related sessions, I plan to stay on and maybe even do some various therapies, just to experience them and improve my life in various ways. It’s funny that there’s a stigma attached to seeing a traditional professional to improve mental health, while people brag about spending a fortune on physical fitness trainers, yoga classes, etc.. And there’s a cult or two out there who would have a field day implying I’m being treated for mental illness just because I’m taking advantage of such things. But I’m proud of my ability to work with someone to tune up myslef on such levels, and will probably share some of it here … so stay tuned!