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Psychology: The child in us

June 17, 2013 - Psychology

devil on shoulder_smallIf you’re familiar with that powerful inner voice which persuades you to overeat, then read on…help is at hand!

Transactional analysis (TA) uses the idea of Parent, Adult and Child ego states – groups of related thoughts, feelings, images and behaviours to understand these ‘inner voices’.

When we talk to ourselves in a critical way or start using words like ‘should’, ‘ought’ or ‘must’ it’s normally the Critical Parent. The Adult part of us will be rational and say: ‘I’d like some chocolate but I’m committed to my LighterLife journey so I’m going to choose not to eat it today’.

The Child in us may feel guilty about not finishing everything on our plates or not accepting snacks or food from others when we know it goes against our best interest. We might be hearing our mother’s voice ringing in our ears, saying, ‘It’s rude to say no’.

LighterLife psychotherapist Mandy Cassidy says it’s helpful to stop seeing a weight-loss programme as a penance. Instead, we can focus on the positive outcomes – improved health, weight and BMI – along with a heightened sense of self-esteem and achievement.

She said: ‘When people choose to move away from the idea of a punishing diet, which is a list of ‘shoulds and shouldn’ts, they have much more freedom to make healthier choices.’