Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Why we should help our patients with better self talk

In counseling, it is common for us to help our patients with their “inner communication/dialogue”, as opposed to their “outer communication/dialogue”. 

Some folks may have inner dialogues that are not as “refined” as their outer dialogue. It can be less tactful, less caring, less compassionate, more critical, more repetitive, more impulsive, and often less timely. 

So why is that?

Perhaps we constantly get feedback from others for our outer dialogue, but not so much for our inner ones. If we call someone stupid, we might get unfriended. Calling ourselves stupid, and we think we can get away with it. 

In counseling, we can help our patients with that missing feedback.  We reflect, explore, and help our patients gain “constructive feedback” on those inner dialogues. 

Better statements may lead to better outcomes, and better questions may lead to better answers and possibilities. 

Statements like “I can’t do this”, or questions like, “Why are people so nasty”, may lead us down an unhelpful path. There may be better alternatives.  “What is good about this problem”, is one example of a better question, leading to better answers and more possibilities.

The question is, can we help our patients gain more insight and improve on their “self talk”?

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