Powerful Ideas #1

Self-Therapy For People Who ENJOY Learning About Themselves

A good therapist provides many "permissions." A permission is a statement which helps you feel "allowed" to do well. The statements below are some of the many permissions I've sent your way in these topics.

If you are looking for some good ideas to speed your changes, you will find them here.

Refer back to the original topics when something seems particularly fitting for you.


Permissions from "Three Styles of Relationships"

IT'S OK...
... to be dependent if you need to be.
... to get what you need and go for what you want.
... to expect your relationships to grow and change.
... to show yourself you can make it on your own.
... to know you are always more important than your relationship.
... to stay independent if you are happy that way.
... to have so many friends that you are never lonely for long.
... to choose people who can give you what you need.

Permissions from "How Much Change Is Possible?"

IT'S OK...
... to accept yourself as you are.
... to say "No" to people who order you to do things.
... to say either "Yes" or "No" to people who ask you to do what they want.
... to have greater hopes - while realizing that all hopes are fantasies.
... to have fewer fears - while realizing that almost all fears are fantasies.
... to judge your future based on your determination and skill, instead of judging it based on your past.


Permissions from "What Is A Therapist's Job?"

IT'S OK...
... to want help and get it.
... to decide what you want to change.
... to direct your therapy toward your own goals.
... to shop around for a good therapist.
... to challenge your therapist.

Permissions from "Are You Expecting Too Much?"

IT'S OK...
... to throw away your expectations about other people and directly ask them for what you want instead.
... to stop trying to meet other people's expectations.
... to expect only that people will keep their word.
... to know what you really want, regardless of whether others approve or disapprove.
... to establish new habits.
... to get help when you don't know what you want.

From "Loneliness"

IT'S OK...
... to need and to get plenty of attention every day.
... to put your need for attention higher on your priority list than anything except basic physical needs.
... to get plenty of attention even when you aren't at your best.
... to take reasonable risks in order to get close to people.
... to regulate the degree of closeness in your relationships.

From "Changing Your Personality"

IT'S OK...
... to notice how much you've changed your opinions and beliefs.
... to know your opinions and beliefs will keep changing.
... to take charge of your changes and decide about their direction.

From "Personal Freedom"

IT'S OK...
... to know that you are not anyone else's property.
... to get rid of all "freedom poisons" (money, success, addictions...).
... to accept that, as an adult, that you do make all of your own decisions (even when you think you don't).
... to take full responsibility for the decisions you make, the decisions you keep, and the decisions you change.

Permissions from "Who Is The Real You?"

IT'S OK...
... to know that your friends and acquaintances have the best view of who you are socially.
... to accept that your feelings are the best guide to who you are personally.
... to be confident that you know the real you.

Permissions from "What Terror Does To Us"

IT'S OK...
... to know you will automatically take excellent care of yourself when you are in a real crisis.
... to know that the fear that comes from a true crisis should subside after a few weeks.
... to know that any painful fear that lasts longer than a few weeks shows the need for professional help.
... to be proud of how well your childhood safety plan worked back then.
... to admit that your childhood safety plan may be of little use in the adult world.

Permissions from "Feel Safe"

IT'S OK...
... to get away from people who abuse or threaten you.
... to throw away fear you have about anything that isn't happening right now.
... to know that you can think about bad things later, if they actually do occur, instead of thinking about them now.

Enjoy Your Changes!

Everything here is designed to help you do just that!


next: Stages of Therapy

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 7). Powerful Ideas #1, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: March 29, 2016

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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