The Lies We Tell Ourselves

Stop Hiding from the Truth and Live a More Authentic Life

Do you feel stuck in your life? Do you wonder why? Does something seem wrong, but you can’t put your finger on it? In The Lies We Tell Ourselves, psychotherapist Jon Frederickson reveals the ways we fool ourselves and how to get unstuck.


Also available in Polish, Danish (paperback and ebook), Norwegian, and Farsi, German, Slovak, Arabic, Chinese, Hungarian, Hebrew, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam.


Through dozens of stories and examples, he shows how the apparent cause of our problems is almost never the real cause. In addition, he reveals what we really fear and how to face it. In these pages you’ll discover

  • How to identify the lies you tell yourself
  • How to face the truths you have avoided
  • Why you stay with someone who isn’t good for you
  • How to stop saying yes when you really mean no

Although we may use falsehoods to escape pain, clinging to our fantasies actually becomes the source of greater suffering. This book shows how to create a better life by letting go of our lies and facing reality. It also demonstrates that therapy is not merely a chat; it is a relationship between two people devoted to facing the deepest truths of our lives so we can be healed.

Praise for The Lies We Tell Ourselves

“The Lies We Tell Ourselves explodes our illusions so we might come into a true, authentic relationship with ourselves and others. The world is full of distortion and avoidance, but Jon creates a startling space where emotional truth can be fearlessly spoken. His writing has the feel of both psychological and spiritual mastery. His brilliant, richly informed, hard-fought, and gritty wisdom is a gift to us all.”
—Susan Warshow, MSW, Founder, DEFT Institute

“With a blast of truth, Frederickson—a world-class psychotherapy teacher—lays out the essentials of effective therapy. With clarity, a brilliant writing style, and many real-life examples, Frederickson shows us how a connection to the truth breaks down the walls and barriers that keep us from having a loving connection with others. The Lies We Tell Ourselves is destined to be a classic enjoyed by sensitive people (and their therapists) for generations to come.”
—Thomas M. Brod, MD, Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association, and Associate Clinical Professor, Psychiatry, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles

“This book is a revelation—a gift to all who come across it. I laughed and cried and, in the end, was filled with deep gratitude for life, just as it is—and for Jon Frederickson. His wisdom, as well as his willingness to be a witness and companion on the journey, is a blessing. Words pale in comparison with the profound and expansive experience offered here. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!”
—Patricia Coughlin, PhD, author of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy

“…a transformative gem for anyone looking to live a more authentic, richer, and better life.”
-Claire Nana at PsychCentral

See the Table of Contents and read an excerpt from the book.

About the Author

Jon Frederickson, MSW, is a therapist in private practice in Washington, DC. He is cochair of the Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) Training Program at the Washington School of Psychiatry, where he has been on the faculty since 1988. He was previously chair of the Supervision Training and Advanced Psychotherapy Training Programs at the school as well as chair of the Faculty Clinical Council.
He is the chair of the ISTDP Core Training Program at the Norwegian ISTDP Society and on the faculty of the Laboratorium Psychoedukacji in Warsaw and the Italian Experiential Psychotherapy Association in Treviso. He is also the author of several books, including The Lies We Tell Ourselves: How to Face the Truth, Accept Yourself, and Create a Better Life; Co-Creating Change: Effective Dynamic Therapy Techniques; and Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: Learning to Listen from Multiple Perspectives.
Jon gives clinical presentations ranging from half-day events to three-day sessions on many topics. He also runs training groups in the United States, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Poland, and Italy. Each group meets four times a year for three years. Jon and his teachers offer intensive skill-based training for therapists.

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