(Her advice? Ditch “The Bitch” in your head.)
Dr. Jacqueline Plumez, award-winning psychologist and a founding member of Anglican Women’s Empowerment (AWE), told an enthusiastic audience at the Episcopal Church Center, “Most women and many men live with a litany of self-criticism wearing away their self-esteem and limiting their potential…. Each of us has a mission to fulfill, some small or large way we want to make the world a better place, but self-doubt is the main thing that keeps us from fulfilling it.”
Dr. Plumez found psychotherapy techniques were ineffective in freeing patients from self-criticism. But when she began “labeling and personifying the negative voice in their mind as ‘The Bitch,’ people could finally hear how self-destructive they were being.”
Nine years of research into self-criticism led to her new book, The Bitch in Your Head: How to Finally Squash Your Inner Critic (Rowan & Littlefield, 2015.) “I never use the word ‘bitch’ in my personal life,” Plumez said, “It’s ugly and sexist. In fact, it took me a long time to say the title of my book in public without getting uncomfortable.” But Plumez said that no other word seems to have to have the power for change.
“The Bitch can affect every area and era of life. It can start in childhood and last through old age, It can keep us from getting the love we want or the raise we deserve .. or from getting a good night’s sleep,” Plumez told the audience who nodded in agreement.
What is the difference between a conscience and ‘The Bitch”? A conscience spurs us to make positive change and to make amends. But Plumez contends that “The Bitch just keeps people wallowing in shame and negativity, which do not help anyone or anything.”
After giving a number of stories and examples, she asked the audience to think about what they would like to accomplish if anything were possible. “Don’t use your energy thinking it’s impossible,” she advised.
“Instead, try to come up with all the ways you could make that dream come true.”
A book signing ended the event, with the proceeds going to AWE, an organization that supports social justice for women and children through educational talks, written material, and by supporting women who come from around the world to the yearly United Nations Committee on the Status of Women meetings.
The Bitch in Your Head: How to Finally Squash Your Inner Critic (Rowan & Littlefield, 2015) is available through Amazon.com, Barnes andNoble.com or from local bookstores. All proceeds are donated to charities that help women, children and families.
- Tamay Agustin, AWE