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?
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.