Self Therapy (A complete guide)

This blog aims to give you details about self-therapy.

As the name implies, self-therapy is the kind of therapy in which the individual applies therapy on himself on his own, for dealing with his emotional issues, cognitive problems, or other conflicts.

In literary terms, self-therapy is referred to as the idea of treating one’s own issues without the need for seeking help from a therapist.

Self-therapy is different from self-counseling and self-help therapy.

Let’s discover how it is different from the latter two.

Self-Therapy, Self-Counseling, and Self-Help Therapy. Is it the same thing?

Self-therapy, self-counseling, and self-help therapy might seem similar to you but all three are different from each other.

Even some practitioners and therapists also used these terms in similar or different ways.

Confusion in the difference between three terms is due to the fact that there is no strictness around choosing different terms.

Nonetheless, it is important to identify the difference between the three concepts.

So let’s move on and find out how these three terms are different from each other.

Self-Therapy vs Self-Counselling

In the light of ‘The Counselor’s Guide’, self-therapy is referred to as:

“Examining one’s own behavior, using psychoanalytical methods of free-thinking and free association”.

It can “help you take more effective control of everyday situations, and enable you to make continued progress”.

On the other hand, self-counseling procedures include the application of techniques such as Rational-Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Glasser’s Reality Therapy etcetera.

It may also include the use of tools like meditation, relaxation, breathing exercises, and so forth. 

According to Merriam Webster, self-therapy is defined as:

“Therapeutic treatment of oneself especially for the purpose of coping with one’s personal or emotional problems”.

Since both self-therapy and self-counseling involves introspection, they might look alike but this confusion may be eliminated by considering the difference between therapy and counseling. According to WebMD:

“Counseling is also usually more short-term than therapy. Psychotherapy is more long-term than counseling and focuses on a broader range of issues.”

Self-Therapy vs Self-Help Therapy

Self-therapy and self-help therapy looks like to a very significant extent.

This might be due to the fact that both involve self-driven methods for dealing with mental illnesses or developing certain skills and abilities.

Self-help therapy is applied when the individual applies therapy to treat any specific mental illness.

On the other hand, self-therapy refers to developing skills and abilities.

Furthermore, you may observe that both of these terms, self-therapy, and self-help therapy are used to describe cognitive-behavior therapy.

It may be due to the fact that cognitive-behavior therapy can be used both as self-therapy and self-help therapy.

You should be mindful that both of these may draw CBT to some extent but CBT is linked to self-help therapy more than self-therapy in mainstream media (Anxiety Canada, 2018; NHS Inform, 2018).

In conclusion, both self-therapy and self-help therapy are almost the same, and none of these links completely to the CBT approach.

You should also know methods of self-help for your nerves, in moments of anxiety or stress.

A Look at the Work of Jay Earley

Dr. Jay Earley who is the founder of the ‘self-therapy journey’ website, is recognized for his contribution to the internal family systems therapy (IFS).

He worked on this therapy both as an author and as a teacher.

He is well known for his work on the ‘inner critic’ concept used in self-therapy.

According to Earley, the inner critic is referred to as the basic part of human beings that “judges you, demeans you, and pushes you to do things” (Earley, 2018).

The inner critic results in self-esteem issues that lead to mental health concerns such as anxiety, stress, and depression.

Earley identified 7 types of inner critic with the help of his wife Bonnie Weiss.

These seven types of the inner critic are as follows: 

  • Perfectionist
  • Inner Controller
  • Taskmaster
  • Underminer
  • Destroyer
  • Guilt-Tripper
  • Molder 

Earley how to develop a questionnaire to help individuals identify their inner critics.

If you’re interested in identifying your inner critics, click here.

Early also contributed to the self-therapy journal by introducing a pattern system for aid in determining the abilities, behavior, inner parts, and dynamics of our psychological makeup.

The pattern system can be helpful in enabling us to understand our relationship with others. 

Bonnie Weiss and Her Work on Self-therapy

Bonnie Weiss had written a number of books on internal family systems therapy (IFS) in self-therapy.

Her books and exercises are very effective and useful for helping individuals, as well as therapists, follow a stepwise guide towards self-directed internal family systems therapy.

These exercises and activities are very helpful in analyzing one’s own parts and communicating with them.

She contributed a lot to self-therapy by covering themes including blending and reblending with wounded parts, evaluating the self, and developing personal potential.

Benefits of Self-Therapy

Self-help therapy very beneficial and effective form of therapy. Some of the benefits of self-therapy are mentioned as follows:

  • Self-therapy is a source of self-awareness 
  • It helps you understand your and your partner’s behavior 
  • It helps you understand the behavior of your significant ones 
  • It helps you identify your self defeating patterns and aid in modifying them to positive actions instantly 
  • It helps in reducing the levels of anxiety, stress, and reactivity 
  • It helps in letting go of old emotional wounds
  • It helps in dealing with your fears to enable you to live freely, genuinely and bravely 
  • It helps you to regulate your emotions in a positive and healthy way to develop peace and satisfaction with life
  • It enhances your ability for love, personal power, creativity, and living a meaningful life
  • It helps in identifying negative thought patterns and working on them
  • It helps to analyze how thoughts influence your feelings and actions 
  • It helps you to schedule activities to develop a sense of accomplishment 
  • It helps you to identify that should actions affect your emotions and thoughts 
  • It helps in the effective management of time 
  • It helps to break down bigger tasks into smaller and simpler ones

 Recommended Books

The following is a list of some of the best books on self-therapy. You can read these books to enhance your knowledge about self-therapy, the guide for using self-therapy, and the benefits of cell therapy.

The books are easily accessible on the Amazon Store.

Just click the book you wish to study and you will be redirected to the page from where you can access it.

  • Self-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy by Jay Earley
  • Self-Therapy Workbook: An Exercise Book For The IFS Process by Bonnie J. Weiss LCSW
  • Self-Therapy, Vol. 3: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using IFS for Eating Issues, Procrastination, the Inner Critic, Depression, Perfectionism, Anger, Communication, and More (Self-Therapy Series) by Jay Earley
  • Getting Past Your Past: Take Control of Your Life With Self-Help Techniques from EMDR Therapy by Francine Shapiro, Karen White, et al.
  • The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, and … (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) Part of: New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook (73 Books)  | by Matthew McKay, Jeffrey C. Wood , et al.

Can you perform cognitive-behavioral therapy on yourself?

Yes, cognitive behavioral therapy can be done on your own.

It has been found that attending just a few sessions of cognitive-behavioral therapy can be very helpful in the treatment of mental illnesses including anxiety and depression.

It also gives an insight to you about how to deal with problems on your own.

Empirical evidence has also shown that self-directed cognitive behavioral therapy is also very effective for treating mental disturbances.

What is the difference between mental health counselors and mental health therapists?

Counseling is relatively a smaller process than therapy.

Mental health Counselors help individuals with their problems by giving them counseling sessions while mental health therapists apply therapies to individuals for helping them deal with their issues.

What happens in a CBT session?

Cognitive-behavioral sessions require meeting the therapist once in a week or once in two weeks.

During these sessions, the therapist and the client work together to identify the problems of the client, break problems into different parts including thoughts, feelings, and actions, acknowledge possible solutions to the problems, and implementing those solutions to resolve the problems.

What is CBT for anxiety?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy focuses on the relationship between thoughts emotions and behavior.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps deal with anxiety by questioning fearful thoughts, trying new activities, practicing mindfulness to stay in the present, and so forth.

How much should therapy cost?

The estimated cost of therapy is about $62 to $120 per session at Americans pay in between dollar $20 to $250 per hour depending upon the number of sessions booked and if there is any Health Insurance.

If there is Health Insurance then therapy will cost on average $20 to $50 per session.

How do I talk to my therapist?

No doubt it is difficult to talk about the problems you are facing but some tips can help you with this.

Find the right therapist for yourself, start writing a journal, practice until you see results and if the therapy does not work, then you could consider an alternative approach.

This could be speaking to a new therapist, trying different self care techniques and focussing more on your physical state e.g your diet, your grooming, your fitness.

This blog provided you information on self-therapy.

The block mentioned the major difference between self-therapy, self-help therapy, and self-counseling.

It explained the contributions of Jay Earley and Bonnie Weiss and mentioned various benefits of self-therapy.

We hope this blog will be a good source of learning for you. If you have any questions or queries, let us know through your comments.

We will be glad to assist you.

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

References 

Self-therapy | Definition of Self-therapy by Merriam-Webster

Self-Therapy for Anxiety and Depression (incl Questions + PDF) by  Catherine Moore (2020)

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