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My Therapist Thinks I Hate Myself


“My therapist thinks I hate myself.” Do you find yourself wondering if that’s true? Maybe you engage in self-deprecation or talk about self-loathing in therapy sometimes. Do you think your therapist is wrong? We all have things that we don’t love about ourselves, and we all struggle with self-esteem at times, but if you talk about things about yourself that frustrate you frequently in therapy, it’s understandable that your therapist might assume that you don’t like yourself. Why does it matter what your therapist thinks about you? You might be preoccupied with other people’s perceptions of you, and not just your therapists. The real question is, do you love yourself? Whether your therapist thinks you hate yourself isn’t relevant in itself, it’s how you feel about yourself.

What do you think about yourself?

Self-esteem is an integral part of life. You might want to spend some time journaling and writing down things that you like about yourself. Life is about balance, and identifying things that you love about yourself is essential in addition to exploring the things that you want to change. You want to make sure you’re working on things in your life, but it’s about evolving and growing. It’s not about sticking with your current patterns or the things that you’re good at doing. You can understand that there are things you want to change, but you don’t need to hate yourself. If it’s hard to think of things that you like about yourself, don’t worry; they are there. Start with simple things, like “I like that I am kind to others” or “I like that I’m a good friend,” and eventually, those things will become part of your regular internal dialogue.

Therapy is about growth

If your therapist believes you don’t like yourself, it could be that you’re talking about aspects of yourself that you find frustrating a lot in therapy, and the things you don’t like about yourself are the center of attention during a session. Remember, your therapist sees people all day long who are working on themselves. Could it be that they think all or most of their clients have problems with self-loathing? It’s natural in therapy to talk about things you want to change, and it’s also natural to talk about things you’re hitting a wall with regarding changing. It’s not necessarily that you hate yourself so much as it is that you’re bringing to light the things that aren’t serving you.

What serves you and what doesn’t?  

In therapy, you can talk about what is serving you in your life and what isn’t. Some behaviors have probably helped you in the past, and now it’s time to abandon them because they aren’t working anymore. Maybe you used to beat yourself up — or you still do — because you thought it was a way to improve your behavior. Perhaps your inner critic is overactive, and you’re a perfectionist because you want to do things the “right way,” but there is no “right way,” and it’s time to recognize that perfectionism is not serving you. That’s something you can let go of in therapy.

Does it matter if your therapist thinks you hate yourself?

The question is, does it matter if your therapist believes that you hate yourself? And the answer is “probably not,” because what matters is what you think of you. Therapy is one of the best places to explore those ideas. What do you think of you, and what do you need to modify to increase your self-confidence? Understand that you’ll always be an ever-changing, evolving person because that’s the nature of human beings. But hating yourself and being preoccupied with what other people think about you is not productive to your mental health. When you find yourself wondering if your therapist thinks you hate yourself, that should be a cue to you that you’re working on these issues in therapy and your therapist is there to support you.

Online therapy

Online therapy is an excellent place to explore these topics. Whether you’re working with a therapist in your local area or online, you can figure these issues out with the support of your mental health provider.

Getty photo by jacoblund

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