3 Ways Women Can Rewrite Their Story
Helping my female patients rewrite their story is a big part of my therapeutic work with women. I find that the stories my female patients have are NOT the stories they want to believe, and most of the time they did not write the story to begin with.
How are stories written? Our stories that we believe about ourselves start to form as soon as we are born. The quality of our attachment to care givers is the first chapter of our story and sets the stage for how the plot will unfold. Depending on experiences we have in early childhood and on, we internalize verbal and non verbal messages about ourselves gained from these experiences. These messages then turn into beliefs about ourselves. Sometimes these beliefs are negative and unconsciously direct our behavior. Many women have traumatic experiences growing up that lead them to form negative beliefs about themselves. Obviously trauma includes physical, sexual, emotional abuse, but it can be ANY experience or event that the woman feels affected her in a negative way.
I am very passionate about helping women identify these negative beliefs and thoughts about themselves and helping them rewrite the REAL story of themselves. I'm passionate about this because I've had to do it for myself. I know how hard it is to change negative beliefs and rewrite a narrative that is authentic and true.
Below are 3 ways that I help women rewrite their stories:
1. Rewrite negative core beliefs
One way I help my female patients rewrite their story is by identifying negative core beliefs and then helping them to rewrite what they would like to believe about themselves. There are many different types of modalities that are useful in this case, and I find that combining multiple modalities has the best outcome. I like to combine CBT with EMDR resourcing, as well as EMDR processing if the patient is open to that. CBT helps to restructure the thoughts from a cognitive perspective, and EMDR resourcing really helps increase positive beliefs about self in the neural network. EMDR processing can also be very helpful if a patient is open to that.
2. Replace critical self talk with kind self talk
Many women talk to themselves in very critical ways, and it directly effects how they view themselves and their capabilities. Part of my work with women is to help them identify critical and negative self talk and replace that with healthy and kind self talk. I encourage journaling outside of session so that patients can see their self talk on paper which helps them to identify and change negative and critical self talk. I also recommend an affirmation practice to all of my patients, regardless of gender and trauma history.
3. Create healthy boundaries in relationships
As soon as you begin work with a new patient, that provides the patient an opportunity to have a healthy relationship with someone and begin to learn what healthy relationships look like. For many women that have negative beliefs about themselves, the people they have relationships with can sometimes reinforce those belief systems. Part of helping my patients rewrite their story is helping them redefine how they expect to be treated in relationships.
Kristin helps all of her female patients change negative beliefs, replace critical self talk with kind self talk, and set healthy boundaries in relationships. Kristin is currently accepting new patients and can be reached at: