Introducing Aurelia Psychology’s Ask Yourself series
When you go to therapy you will be encouraged to think about a multitude of personal questions about yourself. Sometimes in the very first therapy session through these questions and self-reflection you may be able to gain insight or some clarity about what is happening in your life. You have started your journey to increase your self-awareness.
During this process your therapist and you will be able to establish a sense of trust, mutual respect and safety to go over these questions. The beauty is you can do this for yourself as well. You can increase your self-awareness by asking yourself similar questions that a therapist may ask.
Self-reflection can lead to change
The power of these reflective questioning is that they trigger neurological pathways that can help you think more clearly and come up with your own answers to your personal struggles.
Aurelia Psychology wants you to have access to these questions, so you can self-reflect. We encourage you to use self-reflection to give you insight into your personal life.
How Ask Yourself series works
Each month, we will share with you a series of questions to ask yourself about some. We will also give you some advice on what to do about them.
Here’s what you need:
- A quiet, private and comfortable space
- A notebook and pen/pencil
- 15 minutes
- Phone/TV/computer to be off/silent
Go through each question on the day we share them with you. Then write down all that comes to your mind about that question/topic. This is called free association. Then, write down what emotions you experience as you think about each subject.
For example, you may realize that you feel very uneasy and concerned about your spiritual life. You realize that you need to explore further how to the role of spirituality has developed over the course of your life.
The key is not to fix how you think or feel but to observe what comes up. When you increase your self-awareness may notice that you feel deeper pain in addition to deeper joy.
Cultivate acceptance and tolerance
Don’t judge yourself for what you think and how you feel. There are no bad thoughts or bad feelings. You are not your feelings and your feelings cannot hurt you.
It’s important to write down all that comes up. Not just the positive or just the negative thoughts. But refrain from arguing with yourself. Once you’re done, say to yourself:
I am ok the way I am.
My problems do not have to be with me all the time.
I will leave my problems on these pages until next time.
My thoughts and feelings are safe in here.
You will leave them in this notebook and you will revisit them at an allocated time the next day.
Make self-reflective journaling a daily practice
Put a date and time on the top of the page. Thank yourself for giving yourself the time to reflect on your life and gain more insight. Then put the notebook somewhere safe. Repeat this process the next day but do not look at what you wrote on the previous page, start fresh even if you still think you are repeating yourself.
If you have come up with some new ideas and thoughts, write that down. If, however, you haven’t had any new insights about the topics at hand that’s ok too. Gaining insight and growing takes time. You are not in a hurry.
We will share our free downloadable workbook in the beginning of December. Meanwhile, download our free 10 day challenge to a better relationship with your self here.
Dr. Ava Ghasemi (Holdich) is a licensed Psychologist with 11 years experience in the U.S., Canada and the Middle East. She has a practice of individual and couples therapy at the MapleTree Center in Dubai.