Parenting yourself.

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

child

Learn like a child.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Learning the lessons, you didn’t get in childhood.

Many adults discover that there are things they should have learned in childhood, that they missed out on. Whether your parents didn’t know, weren’t any good at parenting, or just weren’t as available as you would have like them to be, you may need to go back and fill in those missing lessons. Even people who say they came from wonderful homes may find there are some lessons they should have learned in childhood that they still need to learn.

Below are some of the lessons of parenting you may need to work on to develop yourself. Studying the lessons of parenting helps many people in recovery to fill in the gaps and become the mature person they want to be. Here are some of the things adults should do and not do with children, and that you need to continue to do or not do for yourself in adulthood.

Don’t yell at yourself.

Yelling at children is likely to increase their anxiety. High anxiety can be protective if you live in an uncertain world. Too much anxiety is harmful. Yelling at yourself undermines your self-confidence and destroys your self-esteem. The things you tell yourself come true. Don’t call yourself names, put yourself down, or yell at yourself about the mistakes you have made. Learn to talk to yourself in a supportive, comforting way.

There is little evidence that you can make someone try harder by yelling or criticize them. There is lots of evidence that continued negativity will make people give up trying.

Communicate with yourself.

It’s important to pay attention to your wants and needs. Listen to your feelings and your thoughts. Many people find it helpful to keep a diary or journal. Writing down your thoughts can help to clarify them. If you are afraid of things, pay attention to those fears.

There are no right or wrong ways to feel. Your feelings are a valuable source of information.

Don’t dismiss your thoughts as unimportant. Your opinion on things matters. Especially pay attention to physical sensations. Learning to eat when you’re hungry, drink water when you are thirsty, and sleep when you are tired are important parts of self-care.

Practice patience’s with yourself.

Don’t expect that you should be able to master a new skill the first time you try. Don’t push yourself to do things before you’re ready. Be patient with yourself. Don’t confuse patience with not trying. Encourage yourself. Nurture yourself.

Allow yourself to relax.

Machines that are run too fast, too long, breakdown. You’re not a machine. You will need to give yourself enough relaxation and rest time. You do not need to spend your whole life driving yourself to do more. Giving yourself time to recharge your batteries. Life is a journey, enjoy the trip. There is a reason humans are called human beings. Don’t define yourself as a human doing.

Acknowledge your achievements.

Good bosses know that you can motivate employees by recognizing their efforts. Appreciation can be more motivating than money. Unfortunately, many parents forget to praise their children. People who are told their contributions are valuable are motivated to work harder. People who never receive any praise or acknowledgment eventually give up trying. Learn to accept compliments. Each day watch for the things you have done well and reward yourself for your achievements.

Remember to love yourself.

It’s hard to love other people when you don’t love yourself. Practice each day some self-compassion. Love should be unconditional not something that’s earned or bought. If you grew up in a home where love and affection conditional, based on what you did, work on loving yourself unconditionally.

Remember it’s never too late to learn the lessons of childhood that you will need to be a happy adult.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.

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Is counseling supposed to hurt?

By David Joel Miller, MS, Licensed Therapist & Licensed Counselor.

Counseling questions

Counseling questions.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Does counseling need to make you feel bad to work?

Sometimes counseling involves looking at painful things. Clients don’t like doing things that will hurt. I don’t like making them hurt either. I want them to have a happy life, not a pain-filled one. But sometimes the counselor needs to take you there if they are going to help you.

Clients come to see the therapist like an accident victim, they are covered in bruises. Handling them roughly just increases the pain for no good reason. No counselor should add to the client’s pain for the sake of “being honest” with them or getting them to face problems. But if your counselor wants you to heal, they made need to help you walk through the pain. Sometimes the burn victim needs the wounds cleaned if they are to heal even when the wound cleaning process makes them hurt.

The client’s life may be like an old refrigerator, full of things they should have thrown out a long time ago, things that smell and are messy. A good counselor helps you clean that stuff out. They aren’t horrified by the discolored things or the smelly ones. If the whole cleaning out process becomes too much we may need to leave some things untouched for a while until you are feeling well enough to let go of some more of the rotten things from your past.

If you have a wound, physical or emotional, it needs cleaning. It may hurt more if you leave it. Long untended wounds take the most effort to heal. You may not be up to feeling all that pain at once. Like peeling an onion you may need to work at your pain until you cry and then next time peel away another layer.

Doctors know when it is better to open up a wound, feel the pain and then let that wound heal slowly from the inside out. A good counselor should be able to work with you on that type of emotional healing.

The beginning counselor may try to quickly cover up the pain, get you to look away and avoid the thing that could lead to your healing. I would love to end each session with a few words of encouragement, tell the client everything will be fine. I know sometimes that is not true. They need gentle honesty.

Often that one hour of therapy is the hour we operate on the longstanding pain. I see them for that one hour. The rest of the week that client has to carry that burden for 167 hours until I see them again. The real healing happens in that other time outside the therapy hour when the client heals slowly from the inside out without the burden of the memories that we have let out during our session.

Counseling doesn’t always need to hurt, sometimes we clear up confusion or we help clients talk through a choice in life. The kind of counseling where I get to teach new life skills or coach someone to improve their game of life, those make me happy.

But sometimes I know I need to sit with the client while they let out that pain from the past and begin their healing journey.

Staying connected with David Joel Miller

Two David Joel Miller Books are available now!

Bumps on the Road of Life. Whether you struggle with anxiety, depression, low motivation, or addiction, you can recover. Bumps on the Road of Life is the story of how people get off track and how to get your life out of the ditch.

Casino Robbery is a novel about a man with PTSD who must cope with his symptoms to solve a mystery and create a new life.

For these and my upcoming books; please visit my Amazon Author Page – David Joel Miller

Want the latest blog posts as they publish? Subscribe to this blog.

Want the latest on news from recoveryland, the field of counseling, my writing projects, speaking and teaching? Please sign up for my newsletter at – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see my Facebook author’s page, davidjoelmillerwriter. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com.