In search of your Ruby Slippers straight from a therapist’s couch

Life is definitely not easy and we can’t do it alone. Life can throw some pretty harsh lessons at us and we must take it as we go. But if we had some sort of a guide to help us ease life’s lessons we would be better prepared to handle it. Even though therapy is great and has a lot of benefits it can be pretty expensive and not for everyone. What if you had a therapist book/journal that you carried with you every step of the way that helps you understand yourself and those around you better? One such book I found is “Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch” by psychotherapist Lisa Ferentz.

Some of the issues that these self-help book deals with are abuse, eating disorders, self-worth, self-esteem, negative thoughts and poor choices. Having over 30 years of private practice and as the founder of The Ferentz Institute, Ferentz empowers those struggling with personal and professional obstacles with the strategies they need to grow and thrive, and provides compassion and guidance to overcome the issues, struggles and symptoms she’s been addressing in traditional therapy throughout her career. What she found out through her work is that while most people expend tremendous amounts of energy wondering and worrying about what others think or say about them, the most powerful messages are the ones that come from yourself about yourself.

Some of the important points that the therapists points out in the book are the practice of journaling for self-growth, positive self-talk and more. A lot of people struggle with addiction and it’s easy to reach for the alcohol, drugs, food, relationships, anything to make you forget the real problems you have to deal with. But addiction creates more problems rather than solves them. That’s why having a friend like this book is a great way for self-support in these difficult times.

“It is important to know that it is not your fault,” says Ferentz. “You have to fill in the blanks with an important information. Everyone deserves a long term therapy to heal the harm and wounds.”

Ferentz emphasizes the importance of self-talk in the relationship with yourself. She says you have to pay attention to how often you criticize yourself, self-blame and shame yourself and turn it around into a positive self-talk. Negative talk is “pervasive.”

“When you have a negative thought, stop and take a breath and say something kind to yourself. Can I say that in a kinder way, with less criticism. Think about someone who really cared about you and loved you. They gave you this loving inner wisdom inside of you. Access that loving positive voice. You have the answers – creativity, resilience and strength,” encourages Ferentz.

Dealing with abusive family, friends or partners is challenging and causes a lot of harm, self-harm because we tend to trust the words of those we love and are closest to us. The therapists suggest that in situations like that you can still love the person who causes the abuse but you have to create boundaries and choose not to accept the harm they cause with their words and actions. “You have to keep in mind that the person who does the abuse is limited and might has his own agenda. Limit your time spent with them. It’s part of being a grown up.”

Ferentz says that when self esteem is harmed we are more vulnerable in choosing toxic relationships and unsupportive work environments. We simply make poor choices. “You are not alone. Stay away from being isolated and connect with people who can relate to you. Connect with social groups. You need the right kind of help. There is nothing more powerful than the way you talk to yourself. In your own head you are beating yourself up and that voice can crump up the positive around you,” she says.

At the end we are our own best friends. We make the choice to accept or deny the negative that comes in. If you are in a toxic and abusive relationship you must get out because no one should say anything negative about your body or yourself. Stop sabotaging your own self as others are already doing that for you. Be safe. Stay safe. Go get your own Ruby Slippers as you might find that “you have been wearing them all along.”