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You're going to think I'm a really terrible person...

You're going to think I'm terrible for what I'm about to say......

You're going to think I'm stupid....

You're going to think I'm a really bad person, but......

You're going to look at me in a different way when I tell you this...

You'll think bad of me....

I hear these shame-based phrases all the time in the therapy room. They're thoughts and feelings people have which they've been programmed to believe from early childhood make them a bad person.

BUT, being able to say them to me can bring an enormous amount of relief for my clients - why? Because I'm 100% not judging them.

Let me explain.

There is nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing a person could tell me in therapy that would bring me to judge them. EVERYBODY carries their own private thoughts, feelings and prejudices, things they feel too ashamed to let he world see or know about them.

But they give me a brilliant window or insight into what has shaped my client from a very young age.

So when a client says, for example, 'you're going to think I'm really bad, but I wish my Mother was dead', I'm not thinking 'you terrible awful wicked person', I'm actually thinking 'wow, what on earth happened to you to lead you to feel this way?'.

And this is one of the reasons why therapy is so liberating. To have the space to say whatever you want and be whomever you are really without judgement is truly healing, enlightening and cathartic.

Just try it.

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Crownhill Park, Torquay, Devon