Tag Archives: self-worth

How to Reduce Anxiety and Enhance Self-Esteem through Personal Mastery

Posted by: Reena Sandhu on April 18, 2014 10:54 am

Anxiety may profoundly affect an individual’s sense of self.  For example, children and adults who continuously fail at a task may eventually learn to believe that they are a failure at that task, and extend that belief to thinking that they are ultimately a failure as a person. These individuals use more shame-based talk (“I am a failure”) and attack their self-worth, instead of using guilt-based talk (“I did something bad”) that speaks about their behavior. Consequently, their self-esteem may be impacted in the process due to internalizing messages of self-deficiency. Many researchers have found self-esteem to be directly correlated to a sense of personal mastery. Personal mastery is more than just the discipline of personal growth and learning what we are good at, it starts by clarifying what really matters most to us and focusing our energies on creating that picture. Children and adults who learn that they “can do” eventually try new activities without the fear of failure. According to this theory, if we can identify what we are good at and accordingly, accomplish a sense of personal mastery in it, it will impact our self-esteem. Positive psychologists have found that identifying strengths is a major contributor to our well-being. Both identifying our strengths and using them has been found to increase individuals’ sense of happiness. Thus, the key to enhancing our self-esteem rests in our ability to identify our strengths.

Below are list of ideas and resources to help identify and cultivate your signature strengths:

  1. Find and Use Your Top Strength– Fill out the VIA character of signature strengths and use one top strength each day: http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/Default.aspx
  1. Volunteer- Find a volunteer opportunity that speaks to your interests.
  1. Watch for Signs of Excitement– When you engage in an activity, your excitement will become apparent through your body language. Your pupils may dilate, your body language may be more open, and your speech may get faster. You’re more alive and motivated when you’re using your core strengths.
  1. Reflect- At the end of each day ask yourself, “What are three things that went well today?”
  1. Set Yourself up Success- Instead of creating a “to do list” create an “I did it list”.


By Dr. Reena Sandhu

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Do you Possess Enough Self-Worth to Run a Private Practice?

Posted by: Andrea Cashman on April 1, 2014 3:54 pm

I’ve had a few people ask me questions about running a private practice as they were contemplating opening their own. Of the counsellors that I’ve spoken to, it was made clear which ones had severe doubts in their abilities and which ones were self-assured and confident with making their entrepreneural move. I do not believe that this is a career choice for the faint of heart. Private practice can be very isolating at times. While the appeal to be your own boss and be creative as you wish to be, there is always the drawback of  isolation, stress and uncertainty popping up to make an appearance.

There are many stressors that private practice can bring. There is the stress of economic uncertainty. Building a practice will take time, perhaps years for you to make a decent income. Even once established, there will be ebbs and flows in your practice that you will need to consider and plan for. You may be working in isolation even if you are renting space in an office. You also have to consider working different hours which may include early morning appointments and evening appointments to make client hours available. You also have to consider that you have no cover when you are ill. Great self-care is essential to running your practice, not just physical care but emotional and mental care as well. Seeing a counsellor for your own issues is highly recommended to avoid any countertransference issues. I strongly recommend you have had at least one session as a client to see what it is like from a client’s perspective. Another thing to keep in mind about your practice is the expectation of client cancellations, no shows and drop outs. This is where supervision is beneficial to work on any doubts you have as a counsellor. There can be other stressors as well, for example, competition of other practitioners, marketing stress, adminstrative or environmental stressors etc.,

What stressors do you anticipate in your practice? Reflect on how you can deal with them and what you will need in doing so? Will social support, networking, personal counselling, research, supervision, time management help you with these stressors? Taking the time to reflect on your doubts and anticipated stress will make you feel better prepared to make the transition. I know how hard it can be; however, I think you need to be in a place in your life where you have the strength and stamina to open your business. If you feel your not ready at this current time, it doesn’t mean you will never be. It just means that you need to work on yourself first and there’s nothing wrong with that.


Andrea Cashman is a private practice counsellor who has founded Holistic Counselling Services for individual clients seeking therapy in Ottawa, ON. She also practices at the Ottawa Hospital as a registered nurse. Feel free to comment below or contact her at [email protected] or visit her website at www.holisticcounsellingservices.ca

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

The Importance of Play

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on March 29, 2012 4:25 pm

Children thrive upon play.  As a toddler, we mimic our parents, our siblings, our pets, the television, and many other significant participants in our lives.  As a child, we are in a perpetual learning curve, constantly seeking to be stimulated.  Fostering a need for such stimulation begins within the home.  As parents, we are the consummate role model.  We are the creative instigator of their developing minds.  

Creativity is the freest form of self-expression and, for children, the creative process is more important than the finished product. There is nothing more fulfilling for children than to be able to express themselves freely. The ability to be creative can do much to nurture your children’s emotional health. All children need to be creative is the freedom to commit themselves to the effort and make whatever activity they are doing their own. 

(PBS, 2012, Online)

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Self-Care – When it’s Hard Walking the Walk…

Posted by: Siri Brown on February 8, 2012 11:18 am

I ended up in the ER last week, stitches to my right (dominant) hand, resulting from a losing battle with a broken glass.  Exiting the hospital at 11:30pm, I was faced with a decision – to go, or not to go, to work the next day?  Self-care I can trumpet to my clients, but oh-how-complicated it becomes as I face my own choices.  This blog entry is about my own journey navigating an acceptable balance between my professional and personal responsibilities.    I hope that it might help “normalize” this challenge for other clinicians, dedicated, as I am, to the clients we serve.

Facts:   I have 3 stitches in my hand.  I am not in any amount of inordinate pain as a result.  I have almost 7hrs of sleep available to me.  I have a fairly full schedule tomorrow including clients without telephones or other means of contact.   It is only one more day of work before the weekend.   I  just spent two plus hours in the hospital (second one I visited – first one, the ER was closed).  It would help to keep the wound dry and immobilized for at least 24hrs.  I am mad at myself for what I consider a stupid, unnecessary injury.   What to do?

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Body Image

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on February 2, 2012 10:00 am

Culturally, North America has become obsessed with the concept of body image.  Children are bombarded by mixed messages describing the “right” physique and the “right” body type. These messages are broadcasted through television, radio, movies, magazines, newspapers, billboards, the web and through a barrage of electronic gadgets (i.e. cell phones, tablet computers, personal computers).  “Body image is a widespread preoccupation. In one study of college students, 74.4% of the normal-weight women stated that they thought about their weight or appearance ‘all the time’ or ‘frequently.’ But the women weren’t alone; the study also found that 46% of the normal-weight men surveyed responded the same way.” (Brown University, 2012, Online)

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Fostering Achievement

Posted by: Asa Don Brown on January 19, 2012 3:32 pm

Do you embrace your children’s accomplishments, achievements, and successes?  When was the last time you spoke words of praise unto your children?  Have you taken time out to encourage your children?  Do you encourage only the “big” successes, or are you offering praise for the little ones as well?  Do you respond to failure as a bad thing? Are you offering encouragement when your children fail to succeed?

Children thrive on positive affirmations, strokes, and encouragement.  Children who live in environments where they are belittled or berated; have a higher likelihood of giving up on their dreams and life ambitions. Likewise, a child who is belittled or berated is more likely to have a lowered self-esteem and self-awareness. 

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*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA