By Ron Elve
Self Help is usually an important part of any ongoing CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) or other counseling. It involves concrete effective advanced action on the part of the client. And, indeed, is a major goal for counselor and client.
These ideas were originally expressed in oldie but goodie books such as How to be Your Own Best Friend by Paul Hauck. As a first step, client beliefs are examined with the counselor to determine which ones are rational and realistic and which are the opposite. After this, with the help of the counselor, a list of positive affirmations and goals is compiled for the client to refer to repetitively. Hopefully, the client starts to internalize the positive affirmations, and feelings and/or behaviors gradually begin to improve. Otherwise, they are further examined with the counselor.
Repetition is important here because it is semi-hypnotic, but in the past it has been applied negatively over and over. Previously, the client might have repeated beliefs such as “I can’t…” and other free floating irrational phrases. These can be made concrete when examined with the help of the counselor. The ideas become more concrete when put into words and can result in positive improvement for the client.
Now clients can look for opportunities to be their own best friend and go over their list as many times as they did when they were negative!
Ron is tutoring and mentoring in the