News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace in 2015

Attitiude Reconstruction  

April  2015                   Time to ease up on being so self-critical


Jude Bijou
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Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire. 

Attitude Reconstruction

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A hummer built a nest outside my kitchen window!

photo by Shaun Heffernan

Hi Jude,


I stayed up most the night reading your book.  I'm usually pretty skeptical of everything, especially authors and their claims to have found the one key to everything.  But not only did you explain that skepticism to me in your book, you also helped me identify the root of it.  I literally cannot stop reading.  WOW!!! 

Check out the helpful content on the Attitude Reconstruction Website


Dear Jude,


It was a pleasure talking with you on Friday. Your book Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life, is a real gem.  It is helpful not only for resolving sleep problems, but also for issues of anxiety and relationship problems. 


I am sure that my listening audience recognized the importance of your book and hope many will make the decision to purchase a copy.


Thank you again for such a meaningful interview.


Eleanor Bobrow

Host Take Charge of Your Life WDIY, Lehigh Valley, PA. (and NPR affiliate).




"It's no disgrace -- somebody has to be plain vanilla."










Hello Friends,

I was shocked and then not, when I realized that of the twenty topics I've written about for the "Emotional Hygiene" area of my website, "self-critical" has had three times the number of hits that the next most read article. That either means that the issue is rampant or that folks who are brutal in their judgments of themselves are more likely to seek help on the Internet. But when I reflect on this phenomenon it is not surprising because that's what it usually boils down to with clients who see me. The two biggest things that are keeping us from feeling joy are unexpressed sadness and not honoring ourselves at all times.
When we're critical of ourselves, we take one problem and turn it into two -- adding often brutal self-loathing onto the mistake itself -- a social blunder, poor financial decision, or thoughtless comment. More on this later...



For those of you who are coping with trauma, I highly recommend a new book, Your LifeAfter Trauma: Powerful Practices to Reclaim Your Identity (W. W. Norton), by a colleague, Michele Rosenthal. 

Offering an overview of the science behind PTSD symptoms, a 3-step process for creating a post-trauma identity and suggestions for overcoming the biggest obstacles in healing, Your Life After Trauma is chock full of how-to exercises and survivor recovery stories all geared toward helping survivors answer the question, "Who am I now?" Plus, many survivors and healing professionals contributed their personal advice for how to create a positive sense of self after trauma.

The advance praise for the book has been enormously positive....   


Here's a short, humorous Youtube video, Memorable Monology: Self-Conscious with Ellen Degeneres. 

Come join me for 5 days of Attitude Reconstruction at the  HollyhockLearningCenter 
in beautiful Cortes Island, British Columbia, August 9 - 14, 2015.

The Hollyhock experience allows one to relax in comfort while experiencing one of the wildest, most pristine nature environments in the world. The grounds feature a large organic garden teaming with food and flowers, a gorgeous sandy beach, ocean view hot tubs open late enough to welcome the stars, a cozy lodge for gathering indoors at the fireside, and well-maintained paths in our 30 acres of surrounding forest. An ideal place to focus on yourself, we'll take care of the rest.

In a non-confrontational setting, address your issues of sadness, anger, and fear and become your best self. Discover and play with how to use your five innate tools--emotions, thoughts, intuition, speech, and action--to replace destructive thinking and behaviors with constructive attitudes that increase joy, love, and peace. 

Reasonably priced. Treat yourself to a great summer.
I'd love for you to join me!

So when he says: "What a good boy I am, Jack is really reinforcing his self-esteem."

Being Our Own Worst Enemy 

      Being self-critical is epidemic in our society. It's almost a national pastime to beat ourselves up over real and imagined imperfections. We became unwitting devotees watching our parents and teachers direct their anger towards us with their negative judgments and demeaning labels instead of dealing with their emotions in appropriate ways. Being receptive little students, we pledged allegiance to those unkind messages and call ourselves stupid, unlovable, or unworthy. Today we know the words by heart and speak them inside without even thinking.

      We rarely feel satisfied with ourselves, trying to measure up against an invisible standard or believing if we had or did something else - got married, earned more money, looked more beautiful, had more time - we'd finally be happy and feel worthy.

      As we know, none of these strategies work. Our mistake: we are identified with our actions rather than our essence. To stop being self-critical and show yourself more love, you must learn that you are whole, complete, and worthy, no matter what. You must realize your self-esteem exists from the first day of your life until the day you die and doesn't change.

      According to Attitude Reconstruction the root of an issue - such as never feeling "enough" - is to express the underlying sadness, ongoing anger, and incapacitating fear and rewire your crummy thinking.

       To change deeply rooted destructive thoughts, you first must determine what contradicts your old messages. Pick just a couple and write them down.

  • I'm doing the best I can.
  • I love myself unconditionally.
  • I'm not perfect, but I'm good enough.
  • There is nothing wrong with me.
  • I am whole and complete.

      Relentlessly repeat your new thoughts, especially when you're judging yourself poorly or when you're crying and feeling down. Interrupt the "yes, buts" and other discounting thoughts that surface and continue to repeat your new truths.

      Another way to raise your self-esteem is to shower yourself with kindness in the form of self-appreciations. Name a specific positive trait, talent, or quality and look at yourself from this new perspective. Try writing one, two or three self-appreciations each day, and at the end of a week, read list out loud with enthusiasm, conviction, and a smile. You are steadily building your self esteem again.


      See how wonderful you feel when you relentlessly focus on your good and fill your black hole of unworthiness yourself. Emphasizing your positive qualities and contradicting that internal critic will give you an unshakable positive view of yourself no matter what.



"Why should I settle for good self-esteem when, with the right medication, I could have great self-esteem?" 



 A Couple of Interesting Articles 


Bullying badly affects children in later stage of their life. 

In a large study of 7771 children who were exposed to bullying at the age of seven and eleven, were then followed up until age 50 in England, Scotland, and Wales. The study found that participants who were bullied were at an increased risk of depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal thoughts. As well they were more likely to have poorer physical and psychological health, and cognitive functioning.   Read the full article. 

   Why men dream of orgies and women dream of emotions.


This study says that men tend to imagine explosive, aggressive, and sexual scenarios, while women dream of familiar indoor scenes, emotions, and appearance. One study found that women's dreams were more detailed, but they were more likely to have nightmares.The researchers concluded the differences were due to environmental factors and messages each gender receives, though higher levels of testosterone in men were thought to produce a tendency towards thoughts of aggression and sex.  Read the full article.    

The Low Down about being self-critical, self-deprecating, self-loathing, demanding perfection.

There is just so much information I'd like to share about a "self-critical" attitude, but it would make this newsletter ridiculously long if I included it all. The following tidbits are from my book, Attitude Reconstruction. It's in Part 3, where I summarize how to work with 33 of our most common "bad" attitudes. click here.

There are 5 pithy sections:

What you're experiencing
The Price you pay
How to Change
What to focus your attention on
The Upside of Victories over this old habit

These destructive attitudes are associated with the emotions of sadness and anger (and fear).

SADNESS I know this because your focus is on yourself in a less than honoring way.

ANGER because you don't accept yourself unconditionally and have such high expectations.

(FEAR is lurking around as well, but it's usually a bit hidden. I know this because you're distorting reality and have lost perspective.)


Hi Jude,


For months and months I have had this procrastination thing going on. I saw along time ago that you wrote helpful tips about procrastination. And I have tried other methods but none of them seemed to work. It might work for a day or two but after that I just keep on procrastinating. I am a 13 year old boy in 7th grade. I am not the kind of person that cannot pay attention. During school I pay attention quite well and do work when time is given I can do it. I used to do it in a homework club and I did my homework well. But as soon as I arrive home. I procrastinate and do other things. I try to tell myself "Come on I need to do this NOW!" but then 5 minutes later I am watching a video on Youtube. Several of websites have told me just to block any distractions such as phones and computers. The problem is that I NEED the computer to do homework. I do not start until 9 or 8 or the earliest 7. Before I did my homework immediately but now I just cannot do it. I am a good student but I think I can be better If I did not have any procrastination inside of me. It has becoming worst and worst and I need help now.


Jude says,


For one thing, 95% of folks procrastinate, so welcome to the world. You are not alone.


Six suggestions:


1. Break your homework down into small doable units so you're not overwhelmed. Make a list of what you need to do in the way of homework before you leave school. Then just take one small task at a time and focus on that. When you are done, congratulate yourself, then take a break (don't fire up your video or if you do, just limit yourself to watching one.) Then attack your next little project, and reward yourself with something little - like play with your pet for a couple of minutes. Next, address your next little project, and reward yourself, and so on.


2. Maybe do your homework in the same room where your family is, but in a quiet corner. Most all of us do better when we have support and human contact, rather than feeling isolated.


3. Shiver and shake, quiver and tremble for 90 seconds, fast, hard, and with abandon, before you sit down to study. Ham it up. This will dissipate the emotion of fear which is behind your procrastination. Ham it up, make noises, laugh while you wiggle and shiver, all up your spine, out your arms and legs, like a dog at the vet.


4. Repeat the following, 11 times, twice a day, "I'm doing this to get the most out of what I can learn."


5. Praise yourself for each little victory. Don't focus on the distractions but on your accomplishments. And remember the ultimate reward. Your satisfaction of overcoming procrastination and completing your assignments.


6. Find a buddy who also procrastinates and wants to get over it, and check in regularly by text or phone, like daily for just a couple of minutes, going over how you did the previous day and setting specific reasonable intentions for the evening. Be sure to describe your victories - don't dwell on how easy it is to put things off. (Details about how to do this are in my book, Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life.)  

Good luck and let me know if these suggestions help.



Battling the Chatter

Phil came in for a tune-up. It had been just over a year since I last saw him. After hearing all his glowing news, I asked, "What brings you here today?" He looked down and said, "I feel really bad about myself. I constantly compare myself to everyone. I've worked on this before, but that little voice has crept back into my head."

"Let's put your old thoughts out on the table," I said. "I'll write them down."

After a moment of silence, Phil laughed and said, "I'm lazy. I'm weak. I lack discipline and don't follow through with commitments, like dealing with my anger semi-regularly or thinking about what I appreciate about what I did during the day before bed. Come to think of it, there's not much that's good about me."

"Who do you sound like?" I asked.

"I'm being as critical of myself as my stepfather was of me," Phil said. "I hated how he continually put me down. I'd never talk to a child like that so it's probably not such a good idea to talk like that to myself. Ah! Now I'm remembering my old truth: I love myself unconditionally." Phil was smiling. "Wow, I feel better already."

              Phil had dusted off a truth that most of us could use, especially when our self-deprecating commentary begins to play: "I love myself unconditionally."



Well, that's a lot of food for thought this month about trashing ourselves and the havoc it creates.

If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments, I enjoy hearing from you, so write me at:
[email protected]

I'm wishing you and yours plenty of joy.