Yep, I used to be a social worker!
That might help, alternatively you could focus more on the first stage of metta bhavana.
Could you elaborate on this? What exactly do you mean by "no self", and what exactly do you mean by "annihilation"?
To put it rather crudely, I think the first is basically noticing one's state of mind, while the second is noticing the nature of one's experience generally, using various frameworks.