Download Self-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem PDF

TitleSelf-Esteem: A Proven Program of Cognitive Techniques for Assessing, Improving, and Maintaining Your Self-Esteem
File Size2.3 MB
Total Pages340
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: The Nature of Self-Esteem
	Causes and Effects
	How to Use This Book
	For the Therapist
		An Issue of Diagnosis
		Cognitive Restructuring for Self-Esteem
Chapter 2: The Pathological Critic
	An Arsenal of Shoulds
	The Origin of the Critic
	Why You Listen to the Critic
	The Role of Reinforcement
	The Variable-Ratio Reinforcement Schedule
	How the Critic Gets Reinforced
		Positive Reinforcement for the Critic
		Negative Reinforcement for the Critic
	Catching Your Critic
Chapter 3: Disarming the Critic
	Unmasking His Purpose
	Talking Back
	Making Your Critic Useless
	Summary Chart
Chapter 4: Accurate Self-Assessment
	Self-Concept Inventory
	Listing Your Weaknesses
	Listing Your Strengths
	A New Self-Description
	Celebrate Your Strengths
Chapter 5: Cognitive Distortions
	The Distortions
		1. Overgeneralization
		2. Global Labeling
		3. Filtering
		4. Polarized Thinking
		5. Self-Blame
		6. Personalization
		7. Mind Reading
		8. Control Fallacies
		9. Emotional Reasoning
	Combating Distortions
		The Three-Column Technique
		Creating Your Rebuttal Voice
		Rules for Rebuttal
			1. Overgeneralization
			2. Global labeling
			3. Filtering
			4. Polarized thinking
			5. Self-blame
			6. Personalization
			7. Mind reading
			8. Control fallacies
			9. Emotional reasoning
Chapter 6: Defusing Painful Thoughts
	Watching Your Thoughts
	Letting Go of Thoughts
	Combining Watching, Labeling, and Letting Go
	Distancing from the Critic
	Example: Tony and the Three Questions
Chapter 7: Compassion
	Compassion Defined
	Toward a Compassionate Mind
	The Compassionate Response
	The Problem of Worth
	Affirming Your Worth
	Compassion for Others
Chapter 8: The Shoulds
	How Values Are Formed
	The Tyranny of the Shoulds
	Healthy Versus Unhealthy Values
	How Shoulds Affect Your Self-Esteem
	Discovering Your Shoulds
	Challenging and Revising Your Shoulds
	Cutting Off the Should
	Atonement—When Shoulds Make Sense
Chapter 9: Acting on Your Values
	Life Domains
	Ten Weeks to Put Values into Action
	Planning Committed Action
Chapter 10: Handling Mistakes
	Reframing Mistakes
		Mistakes as Teachers
		Mistakes as Warnings
		Mistakes: Prerequisite for Spontaneity
		Mistakes: The Necessary Quota
		Mistakes as Nonexistent in the Present
	The Problem of Awareness
	The Limits of Awareness
	The Habit of Awareness
	Raising Your Mistake Consciousness
Chapter 11: Responding to Criticism
	The Myth of Reality
		A TV Screen in Every Head
		Screen Inputs
			Innate constitution
			Physiological state
			Emotional state
			Habitual behavior patterns
		The Screen as Monster-Maker
		Mantra for Handling Criticism
	Responding to Criticism
		Ineffective Response Styles
			Aggressive style
			Passive style
			Passive-aggressive style
		Effective Response Styles
	Putting It All Together
Chapter 12: Asking for What You Want
	Your Legitimate Needs
	Needs Versus Wants
	Wants into Words
	Distilling the Assertive Request
	Whole Messages
		Your Thoughts
		Your Feelings
		Putting It Together
		Rules for Requests
Chapter 13: Goal Setting and Planning
	What Do You Want?
		Question 1: What Hurts or Feels Bad?
		Question 2: What Are You Hungry For?
		Question 3: What Are Your Dreams?
		Question 4: What Are the Little Comforts?
	Selecting Goals to Work On: The First Cut
	Selecting Goals to Work On: The Evaluation
	Making Your Goals Specific
	Making Mental Movies
	Listing the Steps
	Making a Commitment
	Blocks to Achieving Goals
	Insufficient Planning
	Insufficient Knowledge
	Poor Time Management
		1. Prioritize
		2. Make To Do Lists
		3. Say “No”
	Unrealistic Goals
		What are the odds?
		Fear of Failure
		Fear of Success
Chapter 14: Visualization
	Why Visualization Works
	Visualization Exercises
	Rules for Creating Effective Self-Esteem Visualizations
	Self-Esteem Sessions
	Special Considerations
Chapter 15: I’m Still Not Okay
	A Special Vulnerability
	Protecting Against the Pain
		Addicted to Your Defenses
		The Addict Faces Reality
		Seeing the Consequences
		Learning Abstinence
	Facing the Pain
		Floating Past the Pain
		Anchoring to the Good Times
	The Option of Therapy
Chapter 16: Core Beliefs
	Identifying Core Beliefs
		Laddering and Theme Analysis
		Learning Your Rules
		Testing Your Rules
	New Core Beliefs
		New Beliefs Mean New Rules
		The Evidence Log
Chapter 17: Building Self-Esteem in ChildrenBy Judith McKay, RN
	The Power of Parents
	Parents as Mirrors
	Look at Your Child
		Looking at the Positive
		Looking at the Negative
		A Special Challenge—The Child Who Is Different
		A Child in Your Own Image
		How to Listen to Your Kids
		What to Listen for
		Accepting Your Child’s Negative Feelings
	The Language of Self-Esteem
	Correcting Your Child
	The Case Against Punishment
	Make It Easy to Do It Right
	Involve Your Child in Solving Problems
	The Facts of Life—Consequences
		Promoting Confidence
		Promoting a Feeling of Success
		Promoting Success in School
	Promoting Social Skills
	Modeling Self-Esteem
Document Text Contents
Page 170

situation illustrates how the fear of mistakes can (1) isolate you because you’re
afraid of the judgments of someone new and (2) choke off spontaneity because
you have to vigilantly watch what you express.

Mistakes: The Necessary Quota

Allow a quota for mistakes. Some people have the pathological attitude that
all mistakes can be avoided, that competent, intelligent, worthwhile people don’t
make them. This is paralyzing hogwash that can leave you afraid to take any
chance in life. The healthier position is that everyone deserves a quota for
mistakes. You should be allowed a certain number of social gaffes, work
mistakes, poor decisions, blown chances, and even failed relationships. This is a
good time to start thinking in terms of reasonable error quotas, rather than the
hopeless dream of perfection. A rule of thumb for most people is that between
one and three decisions in every ten are dead wrong. And several others may be
in a doubtful gray area. For mechanical, overlearned processes like typing or
driving, the quota goes down. You don’t expect to have an accident every tenth
time you get in the car. But sooner or later you will have one, hopefully only a
fender-bender, and you will need to chalk that one up as a mistake that you are
entitled to under your error quota.

Mistakes as Nonexistent in the Present

To understand this concept, it will be helpful to first examine the most
common categories of mistakes.

Errors of fact. You hear “highway 45” on the phone, write down
“highway 49,” and get lost.

Failure to reach a goal. Summer arrives, and you are still too fat to get
into your bathing suit.

Wasted effort. You gather 300 signatures on a recall petition that fails.

Errors of judgment. You decide to get the cheaper paint, and it fades.

Missed opportunities. The stock you decided not to buy at $5 is now at

Page 171

Forgetfulness. You get all the way to the potluck and realize that your
salad dressing is still at home in the refrigerator.

Overindulgence in legitimate pleasures. The party was fun, but you have
a hangover.

Inappropriate emotional outbursts. You yell at your spouse and feel
awful about it later.

Procrastination. You never got around to fixing the roof, and now the
dining room wallpaper is ruined.

Impatience. You try a bigger wrench on the nut, and the bolt breaks.

Violation of your moral code. You tell a white lie: “I’ll be out of town
this weekend.” On Saturday, you run into the person you’re avoiding.

This list could go on and on. Classifying the ways to go wrong has been a
popular human pastime since Moses came down from the mountain with the Ten

There is a common thread running through these examples that will help in
understanding mistakes. A mistake is anything you do that you later, upon
reflection, wish you had done differently. This applies also to things you didn’t
do that you later, upon reflection, wish you had done.

The key word here is “later.” Later may be a split second or a decade after
the act. When you apply too much force to the nut and the bolt breaks, “later” is
very soon indeed. It seems like “immediately,” but it’s not. There is a lag
between the action and the regret. It is this lag time, short or long, that is the key
to freeing yourself from the tyranny of mistakes.

At the exact moment of action, you are doing what seems reasonable. It is
your later interpretation that turns the action into a mistake. “Mistake” is a label
you always apply in retrospect, when you realize you could have done
something more reasonable.

The Problem of Awareness
You always choose the action that seems most likely to meet your needs. This is
the essence of motivation: wanting to do something more than any other thing.

Page 339

Hayes, S. C, and S. Smith. Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life: The New
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger
Publications, 2007.

Hayes, S. C., K. D. Strosahl, and K. G. Wilson. Acceptance and Commitment
Therapy: An Experiential Approach to Behavioral Change. New York:
Guilford Press, 1999.

Hayes, S. C., K. D. Strosahl, and K. B. Wilson. Acceptance and Commitment
Therapy: An experiential approach to behavior change. 2nd Ed. New York:
Guilford Press, 2013.

Isaacs, Susan. Who’s in Control? New York: Putnam, 1986.

McKay M., and P. Fanning, Prisoners of Belief. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger
Publications, 1991.

McKay, M., P. Fanning, and P. Zurita Ona, Mind and Emotions: A Universal
Treatment for Emotional Disorders. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger
Publications, 2011.

McKay, M., M. Davis, and P. Fanning. Messages: The Communication Skills
Book. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, 1983.

McKay, M., M. Davis, and P. Fanning. Thoughts and Feelings: The Art of
Cognitive Stress Intervention. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications,

Rubin, T. I. Compassion and Self-Hate. New York: Ballantine, 1975.

Wassmer, A. C. Making Contact. New York: Dial Press, 1978.

Zilbergeld, B. The Shrinking of America. Boston: Little Brown, 1983.

Zimbardo, P. G. Shyness. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1977.

, is a professor at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA.
He has authored and coauthored numerous books, including The Relaxation and
Stress Reduction Workbook, Self-Esteem, Thoughts and Feelings, When Anger
Hurts, and ACT on Life Not on Anger. He has also penned two novels, Us and
The Wawona Hotel. McKay received his PhD in clinical psychology from the

Page 340

California School of Professional Psychology, and specializes in the cognitive
behavioral treatment of anxiety and depression. He lives and works in the greater
San Francisco Bay Area.

Patrick Fanning is a professional writer in the mental health field. He has
authored and coauthored eighteen self-help books, including Self-Esteem,
Thoughts and Feelings, Couple Skills, and Mind and Emotions.

Similer Documents