UK Council for Psychotherapy


Accredited Psychotherapist

British Association for
Counselling & Psychotherapy


Accredited Counsellor London

Private Health Insurance


Registered Counsellor London

Counselling & Psychotherapy
Central London, Camden, Kings Cross, London NW1
Glen Gibson - Dip. Counselling, MA Psychotherapy, Dip. Psychotherapy
UKCP & mBACP Accredited Male Therapist, Counsellor & Psychotherapist 020 7916 1342

Self-Sabotage, Self-Destructive Behaviour - Counselling London

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Self-Destructive Tendencies, Self Sabotaging Behaviour, Self-Destructive Behaviour - London Counselling For Self Sabotage

Psychotherapy & counselling in Central London - self-sabotage therapy, stop self destructive behavior self sabotage syndrome, self-destructive tendencies

Self-Destructive Tendencies, Triggers It's not easy to face certain challenges and we all have our own ingrained blind spots, buttons which can get pressed, triggers (especially if we have certain conditions, e.g. ADD/ADHD) - the things that set us off, bring out the worst in us if we let this happen, living on the edge, creating crises, often affecting our interactions with others. We may ignore the signs that may trip us up. When things happen we may revert to our default, which we no longer want to do. Some of us may give up easily, procrastinate. At times it can seem as if we take two steps forward yet three steps back. If our self-esteem is low, sometimes we need a reason to beat ourselves up. (There can be a positivity in us, that we also take out into the world.) Counselling & psychotherapy can explore any unhelpful pre-existing beliefs (e.g. things will always go wrong for us), magical beliefs our self-destructive behaviour, self-sabotaging behaviour with you, investigating your "template" responses, self-destructive tendencies and other ways of responding, where giving ourselves time to consider our responses before we respond can also shape our attitudes, habits, addictions, personality. The counselling & psychotherapy may also unpack, fears of failure, success.

Avoiding your triggers isn't healing. Healing happens when you're triggered and you're able to move through
the pain, the pattern, and the story, and walk your way to a different ending.
Vienna Pharaon
Self-sabotage psychotherapy & counselling in Central London, Camden, Kings Cross - self destructive behaviour, self-sabotage syndrome, self-destructive tendencies

Reacting & Rebelling Sensitive inside, it can be tempting to react immediately to things, go down rabbit holes. "Why do I react to situations?" may be a question we have. Other may become stuck, finding it difficult to act (rather than react) - see also Procrastination Cure? - Double Binds. This can be explored together in the counselling & psychotherapy, exploring other possible alternatives, so more choices open up. This may also include wondering about our unconscious reactions. Sometimes we have to react or rebel against something, as if we have no choice - in a knee-jerk reaction we have to do the opposite (especially at any potentially powerful authority figures). Some of us may always have to disagree, take the opposite point of view of others, yet inside we may struggle with not knowing or feeling out of control. We may have broken trust, promises to others. Our inner rebel may be in charge, which may detonate our self-destructive tendencies and end up as self-destructive behaviour, as if we can't stop self-sabotaging. Switching from being reactive towards becoming more proactive may be part of the exploration in the counselling. Impulse control maybe a challenge for some, especially if we become overwhelmed by feelings. Regulating our feelings, emotions, can support us.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Rita Mae Brown
Psychotherapy and counselling in Central London, Camden, near Kings Cross - self destructive behaviour, self-destructive tendencies

The rebel in us may have a lot of energy. It can be as if any structure we are given, we take as an imposition. We have to break the rules, be non-conformist. We must do something we have to rebel against, often impulsively, as if we "get off" on it. This can excite us, yet we may ultimately have a reckless disregard for our & others' welfare. Sometimes burning down bridges may be exactly what we need to do, yet another occasions it may be counter-productive. (Building bridges, not walls, may be challenging for some of us.) As an aspect of our self-destructive tendencies a part of us may also additively enjoy sabotaging things, getting a reaction, even if it is a negative one. We have to say "No" to something, but our choice might not be free. It can be as if our will gets captured, that actually we don't have a choice. Sometimes our "inner rebel" can act as a form of protection for us. And some of this may go back to when younger as a way to protect our self against being consumed by controlling parents, where we may have put our focus on resisting, not wanting to be controlled and we continue to do this now. We may have learnt to resist not only an authoritarian parent but now also have an automatic, authoritarian, controlling voice inside us, stopping us acting in life when we need to. So this frequently unconscious part of us can be in internal resistance affecting our procrastination, who has to be in reaction, carrying the voice of a resistant, defiant, rebellious child - "You will not tell me, make me, I can do whatever I want", "No one tells me what to do - even myself" or "I've got to do it right or perfect, so I won't bother", so we abandon our self. Yet from our adult self who becomes aware of how we want to be from our highest good, we can consciously choose a different voice to our resistant child or internalised controlling parent, trust and be in our own inner authority, take loving action now rather than re-enact from the controlling or resisting parts of us from our past (see also Power Struggles Inside Our Head). We may also need to get past our ego wounded self, by taking a few deep breaths, breathing into our heart, evoking our kind, loving, compassionate, wise, purposeful self. There may also be a bullying, judgemental, critical, wounded part of us telling ourself we are not good enough. This inner struggle immobilises us. However when we no longer come from our wounded self, but from our loving self who takes charge and is willing to learn what is loving for ourself and others, we are then able to compassionately act as our behaviour comes from connecting with our free will and choosing our primary intentions. Counselling & psychotherapy can explore this "having to revolt against something" process with you, and see if you are willing to give yourself permission for your "No" & your "Yes".

Counselling in Central London, Camden, Kings Cross - self-sabotage, self destructive behavior

Self-Destructive Behaviour, Sabotaging Ourselves, Being Impulsive Sometimes there can be an attacking part of us that fights against something, not being sure what. By becoming familiar with the different facets of our personality - our inner life, we can get to know how we inadvertently attack or sabotage ourself or others, so our own actions stop us getting what we really want. We may be drawn to things we know won't make us feel good (maybe compelled to never doing things by the rules). Avoiding our feelings, there may be a punishing side of us, holding self-disgust, self-hatred, self-loathing, self-persecution, so called "wicked" or "bad inside", that sabotages anything good as things spiral downwards and we can fear, sabotage success. As we are seeing ourselves doing, saying things we would rather not, "there we go again" we may think, as if we have no control. Inside we may hear a small voice, saying "No, stop", yet another part of us says "Yes", as we end up sabotaging things. We may resort to unhelpful roles, behaviours, which we've learnt and find it hard to shake off. As part of our self-destructive tendencies, even though we know we are doing it at the time, we seem unable to stop. In our self-destructive behaviour we may have become or impulsive, maybe reckless at times, and "what the hell". We may hear our own guiding voice inside saying "Don't do this" or "I really shouldn't be doing this", yet choose to override this voice and go down a chasm as if a compulsion to repeat things (see also Power Struggles Inside Our Head). We can act out on others our unwanted feelings, including tiredness, being fearful, stressed, anxious, depressed. What once were minor distractions, maybe overworking, over-indulgence in food, alcohol or the computer, can now dominate, yet our core struggles may remain. Struggling to contain things, we may believe we have to follow our drives, urges, etc. Sometimes we can sabotage things by putting things off - procrastinating. That we sabotage things may also be connected to how we sabotage intimacy, which ultimately becomes self-destructive. (See also Linking Our Behaviour To What's Happening Inside)

Many people are caught in a knot of self-destructive behaviour and are unable to see or appreciate how they themselves have tied it. Each believes the problems lie somewhere 'out there', surrounding them but beyond them,
rooted in external circumstances. They also believe that the solutions to their problems are 'out there' too
- the right man, the perfect woman, a more appreciative boss, a more interesting job, the right diet.
James Masterson
Counselling in Central London, Camden, ner Kings Cross for self-sabotage or self destructive behavior

Addicted To Pain, Suffering We may have experienced burdens or bad things in our life and as if to prove we are bad we may attract, create bad things now. As if we are bad inside, we may experience self-hatred, self-loathing, self-persecution, self-disgust, self-punishment, wicked inside. If we don't acknowledge past pain we are likely to repeat it. With or without knowing it (see also Our Painbody) there may be a masochistic part of us, which believes we have to suffer, wallowing in it, sacrifice our own needs, that it is virtuous to suffer and that joy, pleasure is wrong or selfish (see also Suffering & Love). (This may stem from a belief inside our wounded self, who is invested in suffering, because it may have been taught that god wants us to suffer.) Pushing ourselves so hard we may lack compassion for us (and others). For some, we may be adrenaline-seeking (see also Psychotherapy For HSP - Needing Excitement, Stimulus, Overstimulating Ourselves), come alive at the thought of conflict. This for some can be related to chasing a feeling, so at least we can feel something, rather than nothing, numbness. For others the pain itself may be addictive, as if we have our own harsh taskmaster inside of ourself beating ourself up, blaming ourselves, refusing to let any good in. Neglecting ourselves, this martyr-like part of us may be withholding, depriving. Anxious or rageful inside we may struggle to trust. In relationships we may tend to attract unrequited love as part of our self-destructive tendencies. (See also Impending Doom, Sense Of Dread)

One may not reach the dawn save by the path of the night. Kahlil Gibran
Erin Goodwin-Guerrero - Uroboros, 2008 - Psychotherapy and counselling in Central London - self-sabotage therapy, stop self sabotaging, stop self destructive behavior in women, self-sabotage therapy, stop self sabotaging, stop self destructive behavior in men, self sabotage syndrome, self-destructive tendencies

How We Feel About Ourself Influencing our self-destructive tendencies, we may have self-doubt or a strong "inner" critic, censor or judgemental side of us, which holds us back, or a sense of worthlessness, controlling, contaminating our thoughts, actions, as if we have to prove what a bad person we are. If we feel unlovable, not good enough, inadequate, we can end up living in ways to reinforce and prove this. We may fear rejection now and make ourself "rejectable". Our self-image, -worth & -beliefs - what we tell us can go a long way in determining our actions & the responses we get back, e.g. we may hear our familiar voice "It will be a disaster", "You're going to fail, so let's fail anyway" or in the realm of relationships, if we don't believe we are lovable, we can make this happen by sabotaging things in our relationship, as love becomes elusive. We may struggle to accept aspects of us we do not like. We may allow everything to be driven by emotions, be right on the edge, struggling to find our way through and manage our uncomfortable emotions. Taking time to reflect, thinking about things, may support us and to change our self-sabotaging ways. We may first need to change our thinking, become aware of our feelings, choosing to respond differently. What sabotages our wellbeing can be looked at in counselling & psychotherapy. Sometimes in our relationships, our self-sabotaging behaviour, self-destructive behaviour may be testing someone for their love & approval, no matter how we behave. We may end up sabotaging our relationship. This may include having affairs, infidelity.

Fear Of Success, Sabotaging Success We can not only be afraid of failure, but also of success. Success for some can be threatening, and we can sometimes put things off for fear of succeeding. We may not know how to be OK with this in ourself & with others. It can sometimes adversely affect our self-esteem. Some of us may struggle coping with the challenges of succeeding or enjoying achievements, because of our beliefs & self-image. How we respond to our successes with others can be a challenge for some if we allow this self-destructive part of us to take over, as if we are accompanied by a sense of impending doom. We may fear how others respond to us (e.g. possible humiliation, lack of approval) and our relationships changing for the worse. If we are successful we may believe we won't be liked as much. Feelings we may not like or be aware of like envy & jealousy may also play a role in how we sabotage things (as if we snatch defeat from the jaws of victory), in our self-sabotaging behaviour, self-destructive behaviour. The counselling and psychotherapy can go into these and other issues with you.

Confirming Our Expectations When living is difficult, we can sabotage things (even watch ourselves doing this), and make them worse, as if we have to re-confirm our sense of impending doom (see also Catastrophising, Awfulising), reinforce our old wounds, any guilt or shame we experienced back in time. Some of us can do the opposite - sabotage things when all seems to be going well (see also Repetition Compulsion). For some of us it can also be just painful if we feel good about us, as if it's too good to be true. Maybe holding fatalistic thoughts, it's as if we try to turn negative predictions into fact, believe things aren't supposed to go well for us - we should feel bad (see also Self-Esteem, Confidence, Criticism, Insecurity & Assertiveness). How we feel about who we are may also shape our expectations. And when things don't go our way, as part of our self-destructive tendencies we may prefer to call upon our familiar self-destructive behaviours (see also Repetition Compulsion) to disrupt things, resist, rather than find a way through things - "going with the flow", allow ourself to envision positive outcomes.

When something goes wrong
I'm the first to admit it
I'm the first to admit it
And the last one to know

When something goes right
Well it's likely to lose me, mm
It's apt to confuse me
It's such an unusual sight
Oh, I can't, I can't get used to something so right
Something so right
Paul Simon
Psychotherapy and counselling in Central London, Camden, Kings Cross - self-sabotage, self destructive behavior in women, in men, self sabotage syndrome, self-destructive tendencies

Creating Dramas, Causing A Drama Some of us may need to be the centre of attention, making everything about us, even if it means creating a crisis. We may get ourselves in trouble as if acting from a sense of learnt helplessness, become temporarily like a victim, so we get rescued or pit others against each other, enjoying witnessing the fall-out. Experiencing the dramas of life can be enjoyable & fun, yet some of us may be hooked on creating heavy melodramas, where lightening up, not taking things so seriously, being humorous, playful about things, may be a challenge. Our self-sabotaging behaviour, self-destructive behaviour may at some level excite us - it gives us things to come up against, get a reaction. Some of us can like the dramas we create - even "getting off" on them. We may find them engaging, exciting, questioning why we would want to stop these. Yet highly sensitive inside (HSP), we may also feel as if we are speeding along a very rocky sea. Our relationship may carry dramas and be high maintenance. The counselling & psychotherapy can explore what else may lie behind the dramas we create which may also be related to our attachment style, e.g. disorganised, disorientated. Exploring the footprints we make, want to leave behind may be important for us. (See also Taking Charge Of Our Emotional Security, Our Or Others Dramas - Emotional Control)

Psychotherapy & counselling London, Camden, Kings Cross - self-sabotage, self destructive behavior, self-destructive tendencies, Author: SuSanA Secretariat, Title: Hole Dug For A Pit Latrine

How To Stop Self-Sabotage, Self-Destructive Behaviours As if in a hole, we may struggle to stop digging. We may want to stop self-sabotaging, stop self-destructive behaviour, no longer destroying what we might value, yet not sure how to do so. Some of us can even notice doing things we would rather not do - be passive aggressive, seeking attention in negative ways, yet can't seem to stop, as if living from some sort of script (see also Early Unconscious Agreements, Beliefs & Trauma), as if something is controlling our life and it's not quite us. We may have some of our own underlying fears, esteem issues, maybe believing we aren't good enough & struggle to give ourself permission to find our own "inner" authority - being in our own ground, connecting to our values, what really matters to us and living it, supported by our boundaries. Taking time to reflect, think about change & transition in our lives, develop supportive habits, be with supportive others can be helpful resources to support us changing our behaviour if that is what we want to do & are ready for. We may need to explore a part of us invested in continuing to self-sabotage as if a repetition compulsion (see also Boundary Setting Counselling - Self-Control). The therapy can look at our self-destructive tendencies, self-sabotaging behaviour and what else we might need to learn about ourself from what we do, so we no longer lose our self in the process.

To shoot fire from the hip can be damaging, whereas firing from the heart, reflection, may be more rewarding.
Psychotherapy and counselling in Central London, Camden, Kings Cross - self-sabotage, elf destructive behaviour, self-destructive tendencies

Counselling & psychotherapy can support us in slowing down, creating a space to assimilate our experiences, compose our thoughts, being in touch our inner beliefs, utilise our mind, how we may have abandoned, neglected or disrespected us, ways of breaking free from any self-sabotaging behaviour (including any unwanted habits or addictions) & how we may look after ourself differently, avoiding self-destruction behaviour. What we tell ourself can also be explored and some of us may need to get out of our own way. Before we choose whether to address our self-sabotage issue, we may first need to explore our narrative, maybe on the lines of "I don't want to or don't know how to take responsibility". The therapy may also look at how we treat ourself compassionately, when things go badly, as opposed to self-sabotage. Our behaviour patterns and underlying factors (including fear and anxiety, feeling like a fraud, impostor) can also be considered in the therapy alongside how we take responsibility for our own feelings. Counselling & psychotherapy may therefore look at ways of reducing dramas we create, by becoming aware of our distress, the consequences of any destructive thoughts, beliefs related to our actions. The counselling may also consider our beliefs (e.g. what we deserve). The counselling & psychotherapy may look at how our own creativity gets sabotaged and will also take into consideration our unconscious motivations to sabotage things, what else our unconscious aspects may point towards, so our self-destructive behaviour, self-sabotaging behaviour becomes more of a choice as we are able to disidentify from what we need to including our biology. We may also explore and reflect upon the motives behind our actions, the reasons and motivations behind them, maybe what was driving them (possibly our ego, fear, insecurities), so we can observe our reactions without judgement, gain insight and maybe realign our future actions with our values. The therapy may also look at how we can acknowledge our struggles (including existential ones) rather than act them out, be resilient, have control over our triggers, buttons being pressed, our actions, reactions, & interactions, so we are able to observe and reflect upon them, make sense and meaning, mentalise, respond rather than react, so choices can open up, and we can filter our responses, take responsibility for our impact in affecting our and others' feelings, so we can also let in the good. The counselling may also reflect upon the impact of our past, healing from any unhelpful beliefs that there is something wrong with us & look at what we learnt as a child about suffering & joy, vulnerability, alongside what behaviours & roles work for us and what ones don't, the difference between our wants and needs and what we need to learn now.

Self-sabotage is smartest thing you can do if you're sabotaging a self that is not really you. Armand DiMele

Self-Destructive Tendencies, Self-Sabotage Specific Questions Regarding any self-sabotaging, self-destructive behaviour you may have various questions, e.g.:

  • Can I change my self-destructive tendencies?
  • Self-destructive behaviors - what is self-destructive behavior? What is a self destructive personality?
  • Self-destructive tendencies - what causes self-destructive behaviour in women and men?
  • Is there a difference in self-destructive behaviors in men and self-destructive behaviour in women?
  • Self-sabotaging - how to stop self-sabotage? What is self-sabotaging behaviour?
  • Can my self-sabotaging behaviour change? Can self-sabotage therapy help overcoming self-sabotage?
  • Is counselling for self-destructive tendencies, counselling for self-destructive behaviour effective?

FAQs about the Counselling London practice based in Kings Cross, Camden:

  • What is the frequency of counselling in London, Kings Cross?
  • How many counselling in London sessions do I need?
  • How much does counselling London cost?
  • Must I visit your London counselling practice in Camden or do you offer Skype counselling, online counselling or Telephone counselling?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of offering online counselling, Skype counselling or in-person counselling in London, Camden, Kings Cross
  • Do you only offer counselling in London, Camden or Kings Cross?
  • What times do you offer counselling in London, Kings Cross or Camden?
  • How do I contact a counsellor in London, Camden, or near Kings Cross?
  • How effective is counselling in London, Kings Cross, Camden?
  • What can I expect from the initial session of counselling London?
  • What to expect from the other counselling London sessions?
  • What is the typical duration of the London counselling services in Camden, Kings Cross

Counselling London Psychotherapy Central London