Making Sense of Our Internal Chatter


This Week’s Book = Talking to Yourself: Learning the Language of Self-Affirmation (by P. Butler)

Spoiler alert: Everybody talks to themselves…and it can’t be crazy if everyone is doing it, right? We all have an internal dialogue going consistently and it can be lovely and pleasant or downright nasty. Negative self-talk can feel overwhelming, discouraging, and debilitating and, more often than not, people worry that it will never change. Since I tend to spend a lot of time talking about internal dialogues, or self-talk, with my clients (and sometimes self-talk that occurs out loud), I figured it was time to revisit one of my favourite books on the topic.

Talking to Yourself is an older book with foundational information that still applies today. Pamela Butler uses this book to discuss the concept of self-talk, which can have both positive and negative effects on our lives. She devotes a chapter to each of the different ways that our self-talk can be harmful and negative, giving them names such as Drivers, Stoppers, and Confusers. She also discusses the ways that self-talk can be used in a self-supporting manner. Butler shares strategies for how people can hone their positive self-talk, while also discussing barriers that can get in the way.

This book has always resonated with me. Yes, it has the corny psychology language that I’ve come to hate (seriously, why do people in the psychology field have to give EVERYTHING cheesy names??), but it also has some really great information for understanding the internal dialogue that we all experience. I love that there’s a systems component to this book – in other words, it looks at the concept of self-talk in the context of our environment and discusses the influences that others can have on our internal dialogue. Systems theory is foundational to my work, so I always like to read about topics from that perspective. In my opinion, this book is helpful for those wanting to learn more about or change their self-talk patterns.

Interested in this book? Click here!

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