Acceptance Tools
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes
Executive Director: AllCEUs Counselor Continuing Education
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox and Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery

Counseling CEUs for this presentation can be earned at

~ Accepting Failure
~ Accepting Isolation & Rejection
~ Accepting Loss of Control
~ Accepting Loss & Death
Warm Up Practice
~ The Weather
~ The News
~ You wake up sick

~ Answer the following questions
~ What are the positives
~ What are the negatives
~ What is within your control
~ The situation
~ Your reaction to the situation
~ When you try to do something but do not succeed
~ Identify what caused the failure:
~ Lack of realistic planning
~ Lack of knowledge
~ Lack of skills
~ Lack of focus
~ Actions of someone or something else
~ Identify what went well
~ Identify what you can learn
~ Explore the failure in terms of the big picture
~ Walk the middle path
~ I did not succeed AND I am going to be okay
~ What does failure mean to you?
~ Failure is a loss
~ In what ways does failure cause you to feel
~ Angry
~ Hopeless and helpless
~ How can you integrate this loss into your life narrative?

Isolation and Rejection
~ We all need to feel loved
~ By ourselves
~ By others
~ When you feel rejected
~ Who is rejecting you?
~ Other people
~ Yourself
~ Someone from your past
~ What are they rejecting?
~ You as a person
~ A particular behavior? (What is your part)


Isolation and Rejection
~ Combat Isolation
~ Define what it looks like to not feel isolated and make a plan
~ Tear down the walls / Allow other people in
~ Find common ground
~ Synergize
~ Combat Rejection
~ Know your worth
~ Separate rejection of ideas or behaviors from rejection of you as a person


Isolation and Rejection
~ When you feel rejected or isolated
~ Accept the feeling
~ Observe the facts
~ Appreciate differences
~ Remember that many times it has to do with the other person

Loss of Control
~ You cannot control everything nor would you want to
~ Acceptance doesn’t mean you like it, just that you recognize you cannot control it
~ When you have a problem, you have 4 options
~ Change the situation
~ Change your response to the situation
~ Accept and tolerate the problem
~ Stay miserable
Loss of Control
~ Make a list of all of the things that aggravate you because you cannot control them.
~ Circle each thing that is the results because of someone else’s thoughts or actions (Traffic, poor group performance at work, rude people…)
~ Highlight each thing that is an “act of God” (time passing, holidays, weather…)
~ Identify how you can radically accept or mitigate these things
Loss and Death
~ With each loss comes some element of denial, anger, depression and acceptance.
~ All of these are normal emotions to feel, acknowledge and let go.
~ Losses come in all forms: Loss of childhood, loss of optimism/hope, loss of possessions, loss of/change in friendships (even after a move), and deaths
~ Some losses are voluntary, like moving or changing jobs.
~ Some are involuntary like death, graduation, divorce, layoffs
~ Think of losses as end-of-season cliffhangers when an actor leaves. How is the next season going to play out?

~ Addressing Loss: Anger
~ Anger is a response to a perceived threat.
~ Identify what parts you are threatened by(rejection, loss of control, failure)
~ I am angry because…
~ I am terrified that…
~ What parts of the situation can you change?
~ How can you change your reaction in a meaningful way?
~ Let go of the anger
~ Use the anger to fuel positive change


~ Addressing loss: Depression
~ Most losses involve some aspect which you are helpless to change.
~ How did “it” benefit your life before you lost it.
~ How can you enhance or maintain those benefits?
~ What is meaningful to keep working toward, despite the loss?
~ If it is something you wanted but never had or did, what DO you have… (attitude of gratitude).
~ Ideal childhood
~ Achieving a career goal
~ “Perfect” marriage
~ What is in your life now that brings you pride and joy?
~ Have clients keep a log for a week of everything that makes them anxious or angry
~ Review the log and cross off the things that they accepted and took meaningful action with
~ For the remaining issues, identify what kept them from accepting the situation
~ What was the benefit to the struggle?
~ Often people struggle with unpleasant feelings which causes unnecessary stress and drains precious energy.
~ Acceptance skills help people identify the feeling, explore what is causing it and decide what the best course of action is to improve the next moment.
~ Acceptance at its most basic means saying “Okay, what next.” “It is what it is.” Not struggling with those things you cannot, or choose not to change.