The stories we tell ourselves are integral to our wellbeing, too. Depressed people often cling to long-established internal narratives with refrains like ‘I’m not good enough to achieve much,’ or ‘My mother dashes all my most important dreams.’ Counsellors who practice psychodynamic therapy help clients discard these stagnant inner monologues and substitute fresh ones. In a 2005 case study, Rutgers University psychologist Karen Riggs Skean describes one of her patients, a graduate student in his late twenties called CG who was the child of abusive, neglectful parents. CG believed close relationships with others could only hurt him. Living out this narrative had made him lonely, withdrawn, and convinced others were out to get him. At the beginning of treatment, he often told Skean, ‘I’m not sure how helpful today’s session has been.’ But little by little, CG began to let Skean in, telling her stories from his difficult past. In return, Skean helped him see how his early struggles had led him to tell himself certain stories – the world was hostile and cold, people would always reject him – that were not necessarily true.