It is no secret that many of us talk to ourselves in ways we would never talk to anyone else. People who have high standards for themselves, are high achievers, and feel like they need to be better than average especially reserve their most critical and judgmental thoughts for themselves.
Parent-teen power struggles are nothing new. Teenagers pushing back against parental expectations and limits are a normal part of adolescent development. This is how kids move towards independence and prepare for emancipation.
Clients who feel worthless are chronically unhappy. They might find some solace by throwing themselves into work or by being an incredibly kind and caring friend. But underneath it all, they have a nagging sense that they don’t matter. In therapy, they might express their emotions and dutifully complete their homework assignments, but it is all just to be cooperative and avoid rejection. So, the therapy remains stuck.