Many years ago I was mid session with a bright and engaging 5 year old when he looked me in the eyes and tearfully said the following:
"I'm so ugly. That’s why no-one wants to play with me".
As an early career psychologist working with children at that stage, it was a confronting moment. Like many adults, I'd believed (or perhaps just hoped) that children of this age did not have excessively critical thoughts about themselves the way many adults do.
Sadly, as my working life progressed, I’ve come to realise this is not true.
Many children and teens are absolutely capable of - and frequently do - view themselves in harsh and negative ways. Although it some young people do this less than others, and some not until they are older - eventually almost all young people berate, criticise or feel negatively about themselves at least on some occasions during their childhood and adolescence.Read More