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My Blog

"I"dentity.

Who are you?
How do you define yourself?
Who are you when you are alone?
Who are you when you are amongst others?
How do you think you are perceived by others? 
 
Image of a blank face; a representation of an individual without identity
Identity....When you think of your identity what springs to mind?
For example my identity could be placed into various boxes, i.e. professional, sexual,  gender, religious and so on.
 
I suppose what i'm interested in, especially as a therapist, is who you think you are? 
 
Since I became a therapist, I have seen many clients who really don't have a clue how to define themselves.   Well, actually that statement is only half true!  The vulnerable clients that I have worked with can define themselves, but, only in negative terms.  One exercise or process that I do with a client is to ask them, how they see themselves.  I start by asking them to give me five positive adjectives.  More often than not, clients who may be suffering from loss of identity, depression, low self esteem/self worth, really struggle to relay these to me.  However, in contrast, these clients often have a myriad of negative adjectives in their schema.
 
Psychological assessment tools such as Myers-Briggs and Johari's window are helpful in understanding how an individual relates to themselves, their environment and to others.
 
I believe that Counselling and Psychotherapy is extremely valuable in helping a vulnerable client develop a clearer sense of self.  What is particularly important in therapy is the relationship between the client and the therapist.  The focus is on working together to understand the origins of these negative processes, as well as, enabling the client to understand who they really are.  This by no means is an easy process, as it involves being really open and honest with ones-self and with the therapist. 
 
How did you find answering the questions at the beginning of this blog?
I'd like to hear your thoughts.
 
 

5 Comments to "I"dentity.:

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peter on 17 May 2011 22:05
Very good questions and easy to answer but the questions: who are you when your on your own as apposed to being with others, made for very deep thinking.
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Antoinette on 18 May 2011 10:42
Hello Peter, thanks for your comment. I appreciate that you find the first couple of questions easy to answer, however, there are some people that truly struggle to answer those questions. As a therapist, clients that have difficulty answering those questions indicates that there is a loss of identity a fragmentaed self, thus could be something that is worked on within therapy. I agree with your response that the latter questions are designed for deeper thinking. It is about getting the client to put a mirror up to themselves and tuly look at what is being reflected back. This is not an easy process as sometimes we don't like to admit at what we truly see...or are unable to see anything at all. Johari's window a psycholgical assessment tool suggests that as individuals we have many selves that we present to the world. A self that we freely let others see; a self that we keep hidden; a self that others can see but, we are unable to and a self that neither others or ourselves can identify. An example of this is the beautiful swan that glides elegantly across the the top of the lake....underneath the water however, they are paddling like crazy....but we don't see that.


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replica omega on 18 October 2013 03:29
Thank you for allowing your inspirational story to come to light.


replica rolex on 09 November 2016 09:15
One exercise or process that I do with a client is to ask them, how they see themselves.
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