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Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes, PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC, NCC
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host: Counselor Toolbox

Continuing Education (CE) credits for addiction and mental health counselors, social workers and marriage and family therapists can be earned for this presentation at

•    Define self-esteem
•    Explore why self-esteem is important
•    Examine ways to improve self esteem

Why I Care/How It Impacts Recovery
–    In order to form healthy relationships it is important to first be okay with yourself.
–    People with strong self esteem do not need others to validate them, or tell them they are good enough.
–    Self-esteem means recognizing your worth as a person
What is Self Esteem
–    Self-esteem is the way you feel about yourself.
–    It is your evaluation of your real-self compared with your ideal-self.
–    Your ideal self is who you believe you should be.
–    Your real-self is who you are with all of your inherent strengths and imperfections.
Where Does Self-Esteem Come From
–    Children form their concept of the ideal-self at an early age based upon conditions of worth
–    When they do something right and get praise, they feel proud.
–    Too often we forget to praise children for who they are, and not just what they do.
–    Due to children's immature reasoning, many things are overgeneralized and made into global, stable and internal attributions, creating an unrealistic ideal-self.
–    Often, parents use the term “bad boy/girl” which says to the child I am bad if I….

What is Self Esteem
–    Activity:
–    On a sheet of paper, describe your ideal self
–    Review the qualities
–    Mark out any of those that are not important to you.
–    Highlight the ones you already have.
–    The rest are ones that you want to develop to the best of your ability
–    Step 1: Define it.
–    Example: “Successful” means what to you?
–    Step 1a: Examine why it is important to you
–    Example: What would be different if you were successful?
–    Step 2: Make a plan
–    Step 3: Do it

Improving Self-Esteem
–    To improve self-esteem, you must
–    Change the way you feel about yourself (i.e. change your feelings about your self-evaluation)
–    Focus on your strengths
–    Aim for effort, not perfection
–    Decide if some of the “ideal” characteristics are important to you
–    Change yourself
–    Likely there are some areas in which you want to improve
–    Make a plan to tackle them ONE at a TIME
Improving Self-Esteem

–    Make a list of positive affirmations and add one new one each day
–    When you find a fault in yourself, remind yourself of three positive qualities
–    Do not minimize your accomplishments.  Take credit where credit is due.
–    Surround yourself with people who are positive and encouraging
–    Instead of complaining about faults, take positive action
Improving Self-Esteem

–    If there is something you feel “bad” about that is impossible to change, then add a new, positive quality.
–    Do a good deed every day
–    Make changeable, specific attributions for negative events
–    Patience– changes do not happen overnight
–    Accept your fears and work with and through them.  Nobody is perfect.

Improving Self-Esteem
–    Evaluate whether you hold yourself to a higher standard than you hold everyone else.
–    Do you think you are that much better than everyone else, or do you just need a reason to beat yourself up?
–    Manage your inner critic
–    Focus on what goes well for you.
–    Caring about what people think about you is good. Worrying about what they think is pointless.
–    Aim for effort rather than perfection.

Improving Self-Esteem
–    View mistakes as learning opportunities.
–    Remind yourself that everyone excels at different things. Stop comparing other people's strengths to your weaknesses.
–    Use insecurities to your advantage.
–    Recognize what you can change and what you can't.
–    Take pride in your opinions and ideas

Apply It
–    Identify 3 ways you could have used this information in the past week.
–    What was the situation?
–    What did you do?
–    How effective was that for you?
–    Short term
–    Long Term
–    If you would have had this new information, what could you have done differently?
–    How would that have changed the outcome?
–    How can you start integrating this knowledge into your routine
–    As you start to like yourself and recognize your worth, your demeanor will likely change
–    You will realize you do not need people to tell you that you are okay.  You already know that!
–    You will find yourself surrounded by people who do not need you to tell them they are okay either.
–    You will not be as afraid to create distance between yourself and those who bring negativity into your life.
–    You will have freed up energy to make positive changes in your life because you are no longer worried about getting other people’s approval.