Section 1
Track #1 - Using a 5 Area Assessment of the Self-Critical Network

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New Content Added: To update the content we have added Self Esteem information found at the end of the Table of Contents.

Regarding building self esteem in teens and adults, I find a key factor to evaluate is the self critical network of the client. 

On this track, we will discuss a guide to assessment of your client’s self critical network.  This guide will cover five areas of assessment.  These five areas are pathological practices, ownership of self-critical behaviors, the client’s purposes, problematic situations, and historical influences. 

As you listen to this track, you might consider using it as a checklist for the client you are treating and as a guide, or perhaps a supplement to your assessment of your client.  The following track will provide you with an intervention regarding cognitive restructuring to raise your teen or adult’s self esteem. 

5 Areas of Assessment

Share on Facebook #1  Assess Pathological Practices

The first area of assessment is to assess pathological practices. To do so, simply assess the precise nature of the destructive self-critical practices that the client is employing. Do so in such a way that, not only can you learn their nature, but the client becomes acutely aware of what he or she is doing.  In addition to standard interviewing techniques, having the client slef monitor, interviewing him or her in the role of the self critic, and logically reconstructing the nature of self critical acts from their effects all represent effective ways to obtain this information.

Share on Facebook #2  Assess Ownership of Self Critical Behaviors
The second area of assessment is to assess ownership of self critical behavior.  This can be done by assessing the degree to which clients fully recognize that they are the perpetrators of self critical actions.  Do they recognize this or do they experience the behavior as somehow inflicted on them by sources that seem beyond their control?

For example, a client may make the statement that his or critic won’t leave them alone.  To change, would you agree that clients must ultimately assume as position of recognized personal authorship and control over self critical actions. 

Share on Facebook #3  Assess the Client’s Purposes
In addition to assessing pathological practices and ownership of self critical behavior, the third area of assessment is to assess the client’s purposes.  I find it productive to assess what the client is attempting to accomplish with his or her self critical behavior. Is it self-improvement, atonement for past misdeeds, the achievement of safety from the dreaded reproaches of others, or other objectives? 

As you already know, pathological practices are usually only marginally successful at achieving their intended purposes, and they always achieve them at grave personal costs. Thus, I find that knowledge of these existing motivations may be used to interest the client in far more effective and less costly ways to secure their purposes.

Share on Facebook #4  Assess Problematic Situations
The fourth area of assessment is to assess problematic situations. You might consider determining those situations in which clients seem most prone to engage in self criticism. Do they experience particular difficulties on reception of criticism from others, the mere presence of impressive others, personal failures or setbacks, stressful situations in general, and or losses of control in personally sensitive areas? 

Again, I find it helpful to make sure that the client is as aware of these troublesome situations as I am.  Would you agree that by being sensitized to their customary self critical reactions, clients are thereby better able to recognize these danger situations when they occur and to avoid falling into their previous automatic response patterns?

Share on Facebook #5  Assess Historical Influences
In addition to assessing problematic situations, the final area of assessment we will discuss is assessing historical influences.  Were degrading labels attributed to them in their families, resulting in a lasting acceptance of such labels and a tendency to attribute them unquestioningly to self?  Were present modalities of self criticism such as perfectionism modeled in the family of origin, again leading to a reflexive acceptance of them as ‘the only way to think?’ 

Also, wouldn’t you be sure to assess especially historical factors that heuristically suggest useful therapeutic interventions in the present?  Think of your client.  How might you evaluate your client’s self criticism after such an assessment?  Is your client’s self criticism pathological?

On this track we have discussed a guide to assessment.  This guide covered five areas of assessment.  These five areas are pathological practices, ownership of self-critical behaviors, the client’s purposes, problematic situations, and historical influences. 

On the next track we will discuss cognitive restructuring for self esteem.  Three methods for cognitive restructuring for self esteem are self reproach evaluations, personifying the critic, and introducing the healthy voice.

© 2013

QUESTION 1
What are five areas of assessment when dealing with a client with low self-esteem?
To select and enter your answer go to Answer Booklet.