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On the previous track we discussed the use of metaphors as a method for your client to find closure with some of their "I'm Unlovable" issues.
On this track we'll talk about the Four R's of Regaining Self-Esteem. At some point in time before your client's current trauma or presenting problem, they were in a more positive space. The essence of the four R's is a structured way to utilize this energy or positive attitude from the past.
Meredith, age 35, whom we were introduced to in an earlier track, felt that she was a failure and as she stated, "Couldn't do anything right." Meredith has been married to Christopher for 15 years. They have two children. Meredith stated, "I feel like I'm a failure. I never seem to do anything right. Ever since I was little, I always messed everything up. Now I'm afraid that I'm not raising my children right, and that Christopher will eventually leave me.”
Four R's of Regaining Self-Esteem
The first R is Reminding.
Sound familiar? Once she recalled her goal of being a Real Estate agent, Meredith wanted to find ways to get past her fear of failure, so she could honestly evaluate if this was something she wanted to do. Do you have a client whom you're currently treating that needs to remind themselves of a goal or dream they've had in the past to regain their Self-Esteem and a feeling of being worthy of love?
The second R is Rediscover.
Have you found, like I have, that once clients remind themselves of their goals and dreams, they sometimes can rediscover a time in their lives when they felt confident? They start to realize what's possible for them, and work towards becoming that person again. Do you have a client that may benefit from rediscovering and discussing a positive feeling from the past to connect with their present situation to regain Self-Esteem?
The third R is Reclaiming Strength.
By actively reclaiming her faith in herself, Meredith realized that her hopes and dreams could become a reality. I've found, as you probably have, that the key for my client to reclaim or assimilate a strength is feeling they deserve to feel that way. In your next session with your Meredith, do you need to ask the question, "Do you feel you deserve happiness in a relationship?" or "Do you feel you deserve the promotion, or the boat, or the new house?" I find the use of the word "deserve" is the springboard to assisting a client to reclaim a strength they may have lost or never felt they had.
Most importantly, the fourth and final R after reminding, rediscovering, and reclaiming
is re-energizing. At the Rediscovery and Reclaiming stages, your clients
are reminded of their hopes and dreams.
Meredith stated, "When I enrolled in the Real Estate course, I began to get back a sense of Self-Esteem over my life. I felt in charge of my life and less like Christopher's doormat. I could make my own decisions. Now I feel that I'm not a failure; I'm a person working towards a goal and doing the best I can."
The Think-Aloud Technique
In summary, the four R's of regaining Self-Esteem are: reminding, rediscovering, reclaiming and re-energizing. They can help your client focus on positive aspects of their life and act as a springboard to dispute their negative image.
The next track will deal with the emotional roller coaster that your client may find themselves riding as they begin to re-examine these Lifetraps.
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