5 affirmation rules that don’t rely on toxic positivity

Does positive thinking, manifesting mantras and “leaving it all to the universe” leave you feeling frustrated? Perhaps you’ve bought another ‘life changing’ book and instead of feeling inspired, you feel cynical.

If so, you probably share my penchant for a more compassionate way of relating to yourself.

Affirmations are EVERYWHERE.

The notion is that if you repeat them into the mirror daily (or whatever prescriptive ‘rule’ is given) the affirmation will come true.

I get it. When things are tough it feels good to believe that we are doing something productive. …


Can therapy help when the world is a mess?

Photo by Micheile Henderson on Unsplash

Understanding how our political culture contributes to our wellbeing is often overlooked, but incredibly important. Neoliberalism is a term that is so pervasive that many of us don’t even recognise that we live by an ideology at all.

But we do. And it is having a catastrophic effect on our mental health.

The prevailing thread of neoliberalism is the belief that individuals are responsible for themselves. So when we find ourselves struggling, we take complete accountability for ‘fixing ourselves’ — without ever questioning how society contributes.

And we’ve all bought into…


By ‘manifesting’ your dreams, are you completely ignoring privilege?

Photo: Jaime Lopes/Unsplash

Before I left my corporate career to study psychotherapy, I was a self-help devotee. I devoured every book, took every course, and attended every conference I could find on how to “manifest my dreams.” And each time, I walked away with a new rush of optimism, confident that I was now closer than ever to attaining the life I wanted.

Eventually, though, it became harder for me to ignore my own discomfort with a corner of this world, one that was becoming more and more prevalent: the conflation of self-improvement with a toxic brand of spirituality.

We seem to be…

Lee McKay Doe

A therapist exploring how to be human and self-compassionate when the world tells us not to. Join the conversation: https://www.instagram.com/therapywithlee/

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