“I use to invest a ton of energy in people-pleasing. Now, I am much more able to set boundaries and be responsive to my needs.”

—Nonprofit Educational Consultant, age 32

Read more praise from past and present clients.

How one man silenced his internal critic and stopped being a people pleaser

T, a 30-year-old gay man, was raised in a Catholic, New England home. His identity was formed around being “a good boy.” This kept him from expressing anger or excitement. T lived narrowly inside his physical body and squeezed his voice down. He came to me with a hope that he could accept who he is and discover what he truly wants. T has now begun the process of choosing himself and taking responsibility for what he likes and wants.

We worked together to help him:

In His Own Words

“I had been out as a gay man for seven years but had not had a relationship and didn’t understand (or was afraid of) that part of my life. I tried talk therapy but it didn’t help. I lived inside my head with an endless stream of self talk, so more talk didn’t bring me out of that. My day-to-day experience is vastly different from when I started working with Charna sixteen months ago.”

“When I first came to her, much of my time was spent crying, trapped in my head with feelings of depression and hopelessness. I now feel more control over my life. A huge part of that has been learning to connect to my body. I am better able to move out of my head and the negative self-talk that has defined my self image for so long. I can actually feel my body’s core, ground through my body, and with these tools can connect with myself, with who I am and what I want.”

It took some time to learn the language of sensation, but it helps me be an observer when feelings that used to paralyze me start taking over. Charna gave good perspective and helped me understand how my experiences have manifested themselves physically and emotionally.”

“I use to invest a ton of energy in people-pleasing. Now, I am much more able to set boundaries and be responsive to my needs – ending a phone conversation that isn’t making me happy, choosing who I will spend time with. Tied to this has been letting anger surface that I pushed down or rationalized away. I’m learning to express anger in a way that is healthy for me and can be positive for my relationships with others”.

“Through our work, I see different development stages inside – the younger boy who wants to be cared for, the teenager who is angry and rebellious, the adult who feels strong and capable. I am learning to let these parts of me speak to each other so that I can view my whole self with compassion and be responsive to my range of needs.”