Counseling Self Esteem

Counseling Self Esteem

In counseling self esteem, I am reminded of step four in the AA program, which states that the alcoholic needed to make a fearless and thorough moral inventory of themselves in order to determine their defects of character which need to be changed and transformed in order to remain sober.

The inventory has to acknowledge the defect and it needs to acknowledge the attributes also.

If I am a merchant, I want to discover which products are selling, and which aren't so that I do not tie up money on inventory that is not selling.

I am also reminded of a model for solution oriented brief therapy for alcohol addiction which was created by Scott Miller.

That model taught that the most despicable person on the planet has probably done at least one gentle or decent thing in their life, and if a counselor could tease out the thinking and behavioral aspects of that one choice, any despicable person could learn to repeat those thought and behaviors which would lead to more gently and decent behaviors.

I think counseling for self esteem could take a similar path. Counselors need to point out to clients the courageous choices that they see that clients have made.

In fact they could take a hint from the Miller Solution Oriented Brief Therapy model, and do some real cheering for clients, which will give the client an emotional memory of success to fall back on when facing a difficult choice out of the counselor's office.

Those memories of success can be accessed by a client if they are confronted by an internal thought which predicts failure and judgement from the external world.

So I am saying that self-esteem is an internal experience for most of us, one that says we have the necessary tools to perservere along our path when the going seems a bit tough.

{Here are some other definitions of self esteem from an ERIC digest;

Definitions of self-esteem vary considerably in both their breadth and psychological sophistication. From an intuitive sense we know that high self-esteem means that we appreciate ourselves and our inherent worth. More specifically, it means we have a positive attitude, we evaluate ourselves highly, we are convinced of our own abilities and we see ourselves as competent and powerful-in control of our own lives and able to do what we want. In addition, we compare ourselves favorably with others. We also know what it means to experience diminished self-esteem--self-depreciation, helplessness, powerlessness and depression (Mecca, Smelser & Vasconcellos, 1989). }

My action steps for counseling self esteem involve teaching awareness and choice.

I like to start with a couple of computerized programs, one a biofeedback program called Heartmath, and the other a computerized brain fitness program called Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro.

Using programs like these differ from the usual talk therapy, and I choose them for just that reason.

We can talk self esteem to death, and I want my clients to have success with tasks they did not know they could have success with, one task involves learning to control the time between heart beats, and the other involves increasing their IQ.

Both tasks can be demonstrated quantitatively so a client cannot deny that they did it, and using the computer takes us past the talk.

Then when clients are running into a negative rule about their abilities learned during childhood, which might impact a job or relationship currently going on, they can recall their success at increasing their IQ, or their heart intelligence and relaxation skills, to balance or even dispute a low self esteem kind of thought.

For example, a client might have a thought about asking for a raise at work, and a memory comes up from childhood that says they have no talent to achieve, and a client can access another memory of success with Mind Sparke and Heartmath, and can say to themselves I do too have talent and I have achieved, now how can I indicate to my supervisor that I deserve a raise because of the gifts I bring to the organization.

And if you increase your IQ practicing with Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro, for 1/2 hour a day, for 19 days, you will definitely be adding something to the organization.

Hope you are intrigued. One of the greatest benefits of Mind Sparke is the ability to quickly pay attention. In other words, I will capture low self esteem thoughts and quickly replace them with high self esteem thoughts.

So What is Heartmath

Heartmath is a biofeedback program used on a computer which gives clients a real time picture of how fast their thoughts impact their physiology.

Clients can enhance their coherence with thoughts about someone they love which opens up higher perceptual centers in the brain for wiser choices.

Again clients are given real time feedback about quickly we move from high self esteem to low self esteem, and how quickly we can switch back to high self esteem.

The key experience your counseling self esteem clients will have is that changing the thought from a negative to a positive will quickly change the internal physiology, so you can move from one to the other very rapidly if need be.

In other words positive self esteem becomes a choice which we can make heart beat by heart beat, which quickly becomes a habit.

And I should mention that Heartmath feels really good to do.

Feels much better than most other kinds of interventions.



relieve stress and increase mental clarity



Would You Share Something That You Are Grateful For?

When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.

Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.


Have a question and want to talk with a therapist? Call 815-316-2621 for Julie Logan, LCSW, RN. 7121 Windsor Lake Parkway, Loves Park, Illinois 61111 jlogan7264@myway.com

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