Self-Criticism & What You Can Do About It

Many of us use self-criticism as a way to talk to ourselves in order to voice the things that we wish to improve or change. Self-criticism is said to aid in self-improvement and growth if done correctly. However, there is research that suggests self-criticism can involve an aspect of self-bashing which can have negative effects on our physical and mental health (1).

There is an emphasized link between self-criticism and depression, as self-criticism leads to and often supports depression (2). Those who criticize themselves through self-blame when things turn out negatively are more likely to experience depression, and the more self-criticism they partake in the more severe their depression becomes (2). Individuals who are self-critical tend to experience feelings of inadequacy, inferiority and unworthiness due to their relentless self-scrutiny (2). Engaging in self-criticism causes some individuals to develop interpersonal stress and interferes with their ability to experience enjoyable life events (1).

When you are constantly providing yourself with negative messages, it can be difficult to change your thought process or find the motivation that you need to get through the day. If you feel as if this is something that you can not get past on your own it is important to seek help. At The Therapy Centre we provide Emotion Focused Therapy which is an evidenced based treatment to help clients develop their emotional awareness. This allows clients to deal with the problems brought out by their inner critic and live in better harmony with themselves. Our team of experienced and dedicated psychologists and social workers work with Emotion Focused Therapy and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to assist clients struggling with depression, in addition to other concerns such as panic attacks, social anxiety and phobias. With two offices located in Oakville and Hamilton, we are accessible from Mississauga, Milton, Halton Hills, Guelph Wellington and the greater Niagara Region.


1 Shahar, G. (2017, August 9). The Hazards of Self-Criticism. Retrieved from

Joeng, J. R., & Turner, S. L. (2015). Mediators between self-criticism and depression: Fear of compassion, self-compassion, and importance to others. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 62(3), 453-463. doi:10.1037/cou0000071