Welcome!

Welcome to Creative CBT. This is the website of therapist/life coach Benjamin Mathews. Benjamin specialises in cognitive behavioural therapy via the internet. If you are new, why not check out the Getting started tab on the right hand side? Alternatively, click here if you would like to contact Benjamin or make an appointment.

The Ideal Self Versus the Actual Self

One cause of stress for many people is the difference between an 'ideal self' and the 'actual self'. You may have an idea of the kind of person that you want to be but when you look at how you actually are, inevitably you fall short. Alternatively, family, friends, colleagues or society itself may seem to present an image of an 'ought self', the kind of person you "should be". When we compare the actual self to an ideal self or ought self, we begin to see the gap, and this can be genuinely stressful. This ties in with perfectionism, as well as trying to be universally loved by everyone. Of course it is irrational to believe that you should be or need to be perfect and impossible to keep everyone happy. Therapy is often about trying to tackle such irrational beliefs in addition to helping one close the gap between the actual self and your ideal self.