Underminer Report

Bonnie Weiss, LCSW and Jay Earley, Ph.D.

UM2The Underminer Inner Critic tries to thwart your self-confidence and self-esteem. It wants to make sure you don’t take risks that it thinks are dangerous, or try new activities where you might fail. It tells you that you can’t be successful, and throws doubts on anything new you might want to try.

It says, “Don’t try out for that part in the play!”  “Don’t offer your ideas in that meeting!” “Don’t apply for that job!” Etc.UM3One kind of Underminer makes a direct attack on your self-worth in an attempt to tear you down; wanting you to stay small and safe, so you don’t run the risk of being criticized for being highly visible and well-known. It tells you that you are worthless or inadequate; calls you stupid or incompetent. The attacks are aimed at undermining your confidence so you won’t take chances or do anything that might not be safe.


This Underminer is afraid you might become too powerful or recognized in your area of expertise; fearing you might be chided or rejected for that. If you show a certain quality, such as strength, intelligence, aggression, or self-esteem, it fears that you will be ostracized.  An Underminer often gets these ideas from something that happened in your family, or culture, as you were growing up. You may indeed have been rejected or punished for being strong, or visible, or feeling good about yourself. Or you may have seen other people suffer this fate. The Underminer wants to make sure this doesn’t happen to you as an adult. It is willing to sacrifice your self-esteem to protect you from the external dangers it fears.

Transform Your Critic

Learn how to explore your Inner Critic and transform it using Internal Family Systems Therapy, a new cutting-edge method. Read our book, Freedom from you Inner Critic.

Learn how to awaken the Inner Champion you need for each of the seven types of Inner Critics. You create a profile of what nurturing and encouraging messages your Inner Champion gives you and what it looks like. This will help you evoke your Inner Champion to support you in your life. Read our book Activating Your Inner Critic Instead of Your Inner Champion.

Additional Resources

We have a whole ecosystem of articles, courses, seminars, books, and other products to help you in your journey of personal growth and healing.

Join our email list!

The Pattern System – A detailed and comprehensive map of the human psyche oriented towards psychological healing and personal growth.

Personal Growth Programs – Website for Jay Earley and Bonnie Weiss that outlines their practices, programs, products and classes. It is a wonderful place to learn about Internal Family Systems Therapy.

Self-Therapy Journey – Coming Soon! An interactive web application. Take a journey into your psyche, heal problematic patterns, and develop healthy capacities.

Personal Growth Store – Visit our online shop. We have many books, recorded courses, guided meditations, and demonstration sessions for sale. On conquering procrastination, overeating, developing intimacy, resolving conflict, and MANY other topics. We also cover basic and advanced aspects of Internal Family Systems Therapy.

Personal Growth Connect – Join our FREE online community. You can meet other people who are working on personal growth and healing–pair up for IFS work, ask and answer questions in forums.