This was a question the great psychotherapist and father of CBT Albert Ellis attempted to answer decades ago. In answering it, he acquired a critical insight. He had been exploring how best to assist patients increase their self esteem with conditions such as depression. This led him to analyse what the term meant , and therein his journey of discovery began. He realised that the issue was not how best to increase self-esteem , but rather the belief that it could be defined or measured at all. Ellis’s insight was that we are attempting to define and measure something that is non-existent. And we are making ourselves anxious , depressed and ashamed in the process.
Despite this insight , we continue to use words like self-worth and self-esteem as if they are definable or measurable concepts. If asked to define on paper the term’ self – worth’ , it should be a simple task .
Is it not obvious?
Is it not how we value ourselves as human beings , and therefore easy to measure and improve?
Let’s explore this concept further.
The rating exercise
This is a wonderful exercise to challenge our whole concept of self-rating . It is an exercise I regularly request that individual patients and large groups of people do. The results are astoundingly disparate . Let’s see how you do.
1- On a sheet of paper , draw a straight line. At one end of the line , write’1′ and at the other,’100′ . Now rate yourself as a human being between one and a hundred, with the former being useless and latter , fantastic .
2- Having marked in the score for your personal rating , now mark in where others would rate you.
3- Next, imagine you were recently diagnosed with depression and are on medication. With this information, where would you now rate yourself on the scale.
4-Then, mark in where you think others would rate you on hearing this news.
HOW DID YOU DO?
The results of the first part of this exercise will impart some important information about yourself. If your personal rating is, for example , ninety – five to a hundred , you are clearly setting the bar extremely high , and are thus more likely to become anxious or frustrated if not constantly achieving these levels. If your personal rating is under twenty , you may feel you are not making the grade in life , and are thus more likely to suffer from conditions like depression . Most of us rate ourselves somewhere in between these extremes.
Reviewing your assessment of what others think of you can also be revealing . If the ‘others’ rating is extremely high , you may feel under pressure to match up to other people’s perceived high expectations. This can also lead to us becoming anxious. If extremely low , this may suggest that others do not think much of us, so may be prone on occasion to feel depressed or ashamed . Once again, most people mark themselves comfortably between the two extremes , assuming others have a reasonable opinion of them.
Now for the results of the second part of this exercise . How many ‘changed’ their rating when asked to visualise the situation where they were diagnosed with depression and requiring medication?
My own experience from performing this exercise over many years is that some will mark their self- rating down but not their ‘others’ rating . The majority will mark down both. This underlies the shame and stigma surrounding depression and other mental health conditions.
DID YOU FALL INTO THE TRAP?
I will complete in article 5 soon.
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Thank you so much for sharing well and hoping you are happy in your life there. Welcome to meet you in London soon as the travels are good nowadays and they allow to the football fans attend the matches in full stadium . Welcome to email me or contact me on WhatsApp .
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Reblogged this on How I found My Muchness and commented:
Mind expanding really and simple enough 💖💖💖
Reblogged this on PPC PRIVATE PSYCHOTHERAPY CLINIC -SENIOR ACCREDITED PSYCHOTHERAPIST-Dr.Fawzy Masaoud-LONDON, ENGLAND and commented:
USEFUL TO KNOW CAN WE INCREASE OUR SELF-ESTEEM?[MENTAL HEALTH] ARTICLE 4
Interesting testing. I wonder if there would be a deviation factor based on the patients current mood. Would the person deviate at all? I feel personally, that depending on my current mood, the deviation factor on how one sees them self could to some extent vary greatly. Perhaps not. Just a thought. Thanks for writing. All is well. 😉
Thinking makes behaviour starts working , then the patient feels what he did . So deviation starts from the negative thoughts.
Hoping you are happy there.
Welcome to meet you in London .
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