Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Therapy Thursday: Befriend Yourself

pocket therapist front cover small.jpg

I have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.

Have you ever wondered how long one of your friends would stick with you if you talked to her the way you shout at yourself?


My therapist calls me on this dichotomy practically every session.

“What would you say to a friend in your shoes?” she’ll ask me.

“I’d tell her to be gentle with herself, to eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and spend three hours watching Oprah if it made her feel better.”

Of course I need not go that far—especially if I don’t want to weigh 300 pounds–to exercise a little kindness to myself. Most of the time, all I have to do is to put away the whip, and make myself a friendship bracelet instead.

  • Vaughn

    Oh wow. I had just written about this. It’s like you have an enemy in your head that’s dedicated to tearing you to pieces.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Adri

    Love today´s post!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sean

    ““What would you say to a friend in your shoes?” she’ll ask me.”

    What a great question! That just took a huge amount of stress and anxiety out of my mind. I need to remember to ask myself that question more often.


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Elizabeth

    Therese ~

    This is a great idea, and I had no idea you had a second book out. Can’t wait to get it, you are such an inspiration. I love your sense of humor in our otherwise “not so funny” world of the mind. I’ve reread Beyond Blue 3 or 4 times and find something new and relevant every time.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marc

    Great column, Therese. The greatest tool a therapist ever gave me was to ask me to explain to myself why a relationship ended in a compassionate way. It was like I was talking to hurt child and it changed the way I saw the world.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment deb

    I have no idea where to start. I cling to your posts daily…somehow I missed this one. This is at least my 3rd major depression episode. It is also the 1st time I’ve gotten any kind of help from the outside. It has been going on for over 3 years. I’ve been in the hospital 3 times in 3 years – 2 wks., 2 months, and 3 wks. They tried ect’s with little help. I have improved greatly since my first stay in the hosptal, but it has been a very dark road. I have such a difficult time with befriending myself. Every night I wonder if this will be the night I end it. The only thing that stops me is how it will forever change my families life. I am just so tired of fighting, of being sucked into the darkness, of feeling defeated and sad every day. Of hearing the voices screaming in my head. Of wishing to be gone. Of feeling so guilty that I feel this way n want to end it n hurt everyone, including Christ who I love so much. Everything going against how I felt n believed, but seem so powerless to stop or change how I am now. I try to “fake it til it’s true” but that doesn’t work. I feel like no one understands and I have no one to be honest with. It’s an invisible pain that most cannot understand. I got my pills out tonight…and just looked at them, surely I can continue on longer – I must. I will instead make sure I sleep well, but oh how I wish I would never awaken…ever…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment LeeAnn


    Even though you are weary of the fight, you have great strength. You know you don’t want to hurt your family or betray your values but it’s so hard when the pain is relentless. I would take on physical pain any day if given the choice, rather than depression. You say you have improved since your treatments, make sure everyone knows that it is not enough. You need & deserve more help. Somehow after years of suicide attempts and being great and then in despair again, I have finally received medication that keeps me relatively stable (in my case, an anticonvulsant for bipolar plus an antidepressant and anti-anxiety and, an antipsychotic). It’s a lot and my memory is not good– but the life I lived and tried to take multiple times is better now & has been for years. My family is more secure. My friends are not afraid I’m going to leave them. For me the trade-off works, because one thing my memory holds is how tortuous it is to feel like you are feeling now. I wish you the best, and hope, and continued strength.

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