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Therapy for Internalized Capitalism in NYC

What Is Internalized Capitalism?

In today’s hustle culture, where productivity is worshiped and the grind is never-ending, it’s easy to internalize the values of capitalism. You’re not good enough, you’re not working hard enough, and you’re not doing enough. This can lead to a feeling of being trapped in a cycle of never-ending work and stress, troubling symptoms of anxiety and depression, with no reprieve in sight.

With a supportive NYC therapist, you can learn to identify and challenge the thoughts and beliefs that are keeping you trapped in a cycle of work, stress, and burnout. You will also develop new skills and perspectives that can help you create a more enjoyable and fulfilling life.

We specialize in therapy for internalized capitalism

So, what is internalized capitalism? Internalized capitalism refers to when an individual has taken on and or become invested in capitalist ideals such as competition, limited resources, and the need to be productive.

When we inevitably can’t live up to these ideas, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and worthlessness. It can make people feel like they’re never good enough. And it can cause people to prioritize work over everything else in their life, leading to burnout, relationship problems, depression, anger, and unhappiness.

It’s when an individual can’t feel value in themselves just for being alive and instead only finds worth in what they can do or produce. They may feel like they’re not good enough unless they’re making money or achieving some sort of status.

Internalized capitalism is a major problem in our society today. It’s something that we need to address and work on unlearning.

THERAPISTS WHO CAN HELP

NYC Therapists Who Specialize in Therapy for Internalized Capitalism

Connecting with the right therapist is the most important factor in your search. We’re here to help you find a great match.

What Does Internalized Capitalism Feel Like?

Internalized capitalism can manifest as an extreme focus on work and achievement, or an obsession with material possessions. It can also be marked by a sense of competition with others, as well as a belief that one must constantly strive for more in order to be happy and successful. This can create a lot of stress and negative feelings including shame or inadequacy.

 

The effects of internalized capitalism you may be experiencing include:

    • Prioritizing work over your health and relationships

    • Feeling guilty when you take time for yourself or do something enjoyable

    • Tying your self-worth to your productivity or how busy you are

    • Work becomes your primary identity, sense of worth is closely tied to job or job title

    • Always wanting more, yet it doesn’t feel like enough once you’ve attained it (i.e. promotion at work, the latest luxury car, etc)

    • Feeling compelled to spend money, despite it not making you feel any happier or improving your life in a significant way

    • Thinking you need to monetize your hobbies or leisure activities

    • Equating resting or down time with laziness

Even dreading Mondays, sometimes called the “Sunday Scaries,” can be a sign you might benefit from thinking about your relationship to work and productivity. It might not be an issue that’s at the forefront of our minds, but it’s one that can have a profound impact on our mental, spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being.

What Does Therapy for Internalized Capitalism Look Like?

Since internalized capitalism is a relatively new concept, therapy may look different for each individual, depending on their needs and goals for therapy. Typically, therapy for internalized capitalism will involve exploring the ways in which individuals have internalized capitalist values and norms.

This may include examining the ways in which people have been socialized to believe that they need to compete with others, or that they need to acquire certain material things in order to be happy. Additionally, therapy for internalized capitalism may involve helping individuals to challenge these beliefs and to develop a more critical perspective of capitalism.

In general, therapy for internalized capitalism aims to help individuals become more aware of how capitalism has impacted their lives and to develop a more critical perspective of the system.

You may be wondering why it’s necessary to address the ideas of capitalism in therapy. After all, isn’t capitalism just the way things are?

However, internalized capitalism may be contributing to individual suffering and even various social problems. For example, research shows that people who internalize capitalist values are more likely to experience anxiety and depression.

Additionally,individuals who are invested in the idea of competition being valuable may be competitive with others to a point that it causes difficulties in their relationships. For example, one may have difficulty sharing friends, their time, or resources as generously as others. Similarly, they may be overly competitive when it comes to trivial matters, or be the type of person who always keeps a “score” of things they’ve done for others. 

Therapy can be a useful tool in unlearning the ideals of capitalism and beginning to address the distress and suffering that comes along with internalizing its principles.

What If I’m Not Ready To Start Therapy?

This is a common question, and it’s one that doesn’t have a single answer. If you’re not sure if therapy is right for you, the first step is to reach out to a therapist and talk about your concerns. All of our therapists offer free phone consultations, because we know just how important it is to find the right therapist. This allows you to get to know the therapist and share what you’re hoping to get out of therapy before making a decision.

If you’re feeling stuck and don’t know where to turn, therapy can provide a space for you to explore your options and figure out a plan. We’ve all been there before – we delay until it feels like the right time. The “right time” to start taking better care of yourself, or the right time to do that thing you’ve been procrastinating about. Therapy is an investment in your future — the sooner you start, the sooner you can begin to work through your challenges and move forward.

Tips you can implement today to help you thrive

Whether you plan to go to therapy to address the effects of internalized capitalism or just want to take the first steps toward self-care, know that you’re not alone. Here are some tips to help get you started:

Unlearning is a Process

It’s important to understand that struggling with these internalized ideals is normal. They have been repeated to us since birth until we came to believe them as truths. Recognizing these struggles, where they come from, and our investment in capitalism’s messages is the beginning of changing our relationship to the system.

This mindset shift may not happen overnight simply because we’ve raised our awareness. It may take conscious and continuous effort to unlearn the principles of capitalism. Since it’s still the status quo in today’s society, it’s important to be gentle with yourself as you process new perspectives and ways of behaving that feel more authentic and aligned with your values.

Know the Roots of Internalized Capitalism

In order to unlearn our internalized capitalism, it is important that we first understand how it was learned and where it came from. Internalized capitalism is the result of hundreds of years of colonization and indoctrination by the ruling class. It is a system that tells us that our worth is based on what we produce, consume, and own. It places profit above people and destroys communities in the name of progress.

This is why it’s so important to know the history of how capitalism has impacted our societies and communities. For many of us, this means tracing back our ancestry and understanding how colonization has affected our families. It also means learning about the ongoing resistance to capitalism by marginalized people around the world. Check out “Rest is Resistance” by Tricia Hersey of Nap Ministries.

Be Mindful of Your Thought Patterns

As you go through your day, notice the thoughts that enter your mind. If you find yourself thinking things like, “I should really be working instead of resting in bed. I’m so lazy,” or “If I buy this, I’ll feel much better,” be curious about where those thoughts come from. Who benefits from you thinking you’re lazy, depriving yourself of rest, or that buying something will bring you happiness?

Give Yourself Time for Rest and Recreation

You can’t work all the time! It’s important to allow yourself sufficient time to rest. This will help you avoid burnout and build a more sustainable relationship to work.

For individuals who have internalized the messages of capitalism, it may be difficult to take time for themselves. They may feel like they need to be working all the time in order to be successful. However, it’s important to remember that everyone needs time to rest. Overworking yourself will only lead to burnout and won’t actually help you get ahead in the ways capitalism has promised.

Allow yourself leisure time every day or every week. This can be something as simple as reading a book, taking a walk in nature, or listening to music.

Interested in Unlearning Internalized Capitalism?

Get in touch today.

Therapy for internalized capitalism can help you distance yourself from grind culture and gain a new perspective. Our NYC therapists will help you learn to live in a way that honors your true self, allows you to thrive, and doesn’t require you to sacrifice your soul for success. You deserve a life that is authentic, fulfilling, and sustainable.

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Amy Schell, LMHC
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Ariel Zeigler, Ph.D
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Caryn Moore, LCSW
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Christina Mancuso, LCSW
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Courtney Cohen, LMHC
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Daniel Rich, LMHC
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Dimitri Mellos, Ph.D
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Elena Beharry, Psy.D
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Eliza Chamblin, LCSW
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Fanny Ng, Ph.D
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Gary Brucato, Ph.D
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Gavin Shafron, Ph.D
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Jen Oddo, LMSW
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Joanna Kaminski, LMFT
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Josh Watson, LMSW
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Justin L.F. Yong, LMHC
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Kristin Anderson, LCSW
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Logan Jones, Psy.D
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Lucas Saiter, LMHC
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Melanie Palmietto, LMHC
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Monica Amorosi, LMHC
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Peter Gradilone, LMSW
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Salima Ndoye, LMFT
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