More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Developing Insight into Self-Concept

The way my mother talks/talked to me:

She makes/made me feel:

The way my father talks/talked to me:

He makes/made me feel:

In my family, I am/was the one who:

Today, people perceive me as the one who:

Previously, I really felt loved when:

Presently, I feel loved when:

I would like to communicate differently in this way:

I worry that people perceive me as:

I would like people to see me as I really am. That is, I would like them to see:
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Developing Insight into Self-Concept

Hi David.

I operate an Eating disorder recovery board, which also provides support for Depression and Self Injury amongst other things.

I am looking for exercises to improve self esteem, and ones that will help our members to look beyond the symptoms (their self-destructive coping methods) and to see the actual problem that is driving them to these methods.

The exercise above seems to be a good starting point, but I am wary about putting up exercises that I won't be qualified to assist members with, once they complete them.

Do you have any tips for me on helping to process general answers that will be given in relation to this exercise?

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Developing Insight into Self-Concept

These aren't like "psychological tests" -- some are home-made, some are adaptations of others. I use them with clients in my work as a way of helping them to structure how they examine self-concept and relationships issues. Primarily, the way I use them is to assist in gaining some insight and as a jumping off point for discussions. Thus, it's quite individualistic.
Developing Insight into Self-Concept

I was specifically seeking some basic guidelines on helping members deal with any negative feelings that the exercise might bring up in relation to the questions about how their Mum or Dad made them feel in the past.

In general, what are some basic techniques I could provide them with, to aid in processing these feelings today?

Or is the exercise best left to use by professionals?

Thanking you for your prompt reply.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Developing Insight into Self-Concept

Hmmm... difficult question to answer since I don't know anything about you or your background. I assumed that you had some training in treating eating disorders...

The way I use the exercise is, as I said, to provide material for psychotherapy sessions, so of course that is in a professional context. I think that most people find the exercises instructive, interesting, and provocative rather than distressing but of course one cannot rule out the latter possibility. I suppose if you were to use it in a peer support context and someone was "triggered" by it or otherwise reacted negatively you might make a strong recommendation to seek professional advice -- or perhaps it would be better to post that as a caution BEFORE the person does the exercise... something along the lines of "Warning: This exercise contains material that may trigger strong emotional reactions"?
Developing Insight into Self-Concept

I assumed that you had some training in treating eating disorders...
No I don't, none at all, sorry I didn't explain properly initially.

It is just one of those support boards run by people with E.D.'s, for people with E.D.'s.

Due to the fact that I have no training, I would never have intentionally started up a board like this myself, had it not been for the fact that after being a member of this board for about 7 months or so, the original owner disappeared, and the 2nd in charge kind of pushed me into taking over the responsibility, and because about 150 people were counting on us, I agreed.

We mostly offer support rather than therapeutic counselling, it is more like journaling on line, and having the added bonus of support and advice. Most of these people do see therapists in "real life".

Strangely enough the majority of members with E.D.'s have dreadful relationships with their parents, some real horror stories in fact, so from past conversations, I can see this bringing up a lot of unresolved hurt.

I don' t want to open up a raw wound and then not be able to help them process these feelings.

I think I have just answered my own question, I think I will leave this exercise out, just in case. People are really enjoying your exercise entitled: "Insight into Negative Feelings."

Again, thanks for your time.
Hi David

the questions you're asking here: does this follow a particular structure that delves deeper into the subconscious and identity of the person? or how does it work?

Im basically trying to understand the psychology of what you're saying here.

I will also try the questions and see what happens

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
As I suggested above, this is something I use as one of a group of homework assignments for clients to provide a bit of structure in helping them to reflect upon the origins of their self-concept and self-perceptions, and on the roles they play in relationships and interactions with other people.

There's no particular theoretical orientation or internal structure. It's simply a tool for identifying potential questions or issues which are then explored more fully in therapy sessions.
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