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Practical Techniques for Enhancing Self Esteem

by Diane Frey, Ph.D. and C. Jesse Carlock, Ph.D.

This manual is divided into phases of intervention. The goal of each phase are to help individuals to develop positive self-esteem in a systematic, sequential approach.

Full Description:   

The greatest gift you can ever give is the activation of the potential for positive self-esteem. This workbook is designed to help you pass the gift of high self-esteem to others and/or yourself.

This manual is divided into phases of intervention. The goals of each phase are to help individuals to develop positive self-esteem in a systematic, sequential approach. The four phases are entitled (1) Identity, (2) Strength, (3) Nurturance, and (4) Maintenance. Each phase is progressive and, as such, built on the other.

This activity book can be easily used by a group leader or individually. The process of sharing and giving feedback helps one to become more aware, thus enhancing self-esteem.

    Note to the Leader

In Chapter 4 in the book, Enhancing Self Esteem, is a discussion of how beliefs that one holds about self can cause one to wall off parts of self which might otherwise be resources (see pages 110-111). Later in Chapter 4 is a discussion of the multifaceted self. In fact, the more differentiated the self-concept, the higher the self-esteem (see page 116). The following activities help to expand awareness of strengths.

  1. To discover positive ways to see self in the moment.
  2. To identify what each participant might need for self right now (areas to improve upon or to expand).
  3. To help group members get to know each other better.
    Time Required
    30-60 minutes
    Any age (preadolescent or older) in group setting
    Materials Needed

    If working alone, have someone else read the procedure to you or use a tape recorder to record the directions and then play the tape recorded directions for yourself. Stop the recorder when and where you need time to work through the suggested activity.

  1. Say, I'd like for you to allow your eyes to close right now and pay attention to your breathing--breathing into the count of four, holding for four counts, 1, 2, 3, 4 and exhaling slowly through your mouth and nose to the count of eight--exhaling the last bit of air from your lungs. Try this two more times and then go back to your regular breathing. Feel the air moving in, filling your chest, then feel your chest slowly fall as you exhale. With each exhalation you feel more and more relaxed, secure, at ease.

    Now imagine, if you will, that you are walking down a beautiful, peaceful country road--a road that lead to a magical garden, a place you've never visited before. You've heard many wonderful stories about this magic garden and today you have been given the chance to go there. As you walk down this peaceful road you can begin to see the gate to the garden in the distance up ahead. It's a beautiful sunny day. Notice the flowers and trees along the way, listen for the birds, feel the gentle breeze against your skin.

    As you reach the gate you pull a key from your pocket, unlock the gate and move inside, closing the gate behind you. This is your private paradise for the next few minutes. Take your time and look around. It's more beautiful than you could ever have imagined. Lush vegetation, flowers of all colors and variety, woods and streams, birds and harmless little creatures of all varieties abound. Every where you look there's something else even more exquisite to behold. It seems that anything you wish for suddenly appears--that's what is so magical about this place. The sky is wide and expansive with puffy pure white clouds splashed on a pale blue background. The sun illuminates and warms everything around. Butterflies and birds of every variety fly all around adding color, sun, and even more life and energy to your paradise.

    As you walk around find something or some place you find yourself drawn to--maybe it's a tree, flower, bird, stream, or rock--anything you find yourself attracted to. Walk around until you find that one thing which draws your attention. Take some time to study this. When you have made your choice begin identifying with it. Describe yourself as this item in the garden--for example:

    I am an old oak tree. I stand tall and have many branches which reach out and up into the sky. Animals run up and down my sturdy trunk and birds rest and build nests on my strong branches. I'm so tall I can easily get an overview of the entire garden. My roots grow deep and wide. Sometimes people lean against me and rest or read books. My leaves provide welcomed shade.
  2. Pick something in the garden with which you identify. Describe yourself in the space provided. What do you have to offer?

  3. Now continuing to imagine yourself as this time, what do you need for yourself?

    For example: 'As the oak tree, I need a bird to fly through my branches and add color to me.' I need:

  4. Now describe yourself as this item that you need. For example:

    'I am a bird--a cardinal. I'm a bright colored red bird and I love to sing and fly through the garden hopping on branches, walking through the grass, gliding through the sky. I'm light, I'm free.' Describe:

  5. As a group, create a garden with participants as roleplayers portraying that with which each identified. Start with one element and add parts one or two at a time. Have each participant to act out his or her part.

    What do we have first?

    Example: I am the sun--I am...(describe self).
    What I need is...(plants).
    Do we have any plant?
    I'm a rose garden--I am...(describe self).
    I'm a lilac bush--I am...(describe self).
    As the rose garden, what do you need?
    I'd like a stream.
    Do we have a stream?
    Yes, I'm a stream. I am...(describe self).

    Continue until all participants are incorporated into the garden.

  6. Have each participant look around and observe what treasures thers have to offer.
  7. Write your identification with something in this activity that helped you see yourself?

  8. Review the part of the garden you identified as a need. Does this need represent a part of you that is underdeveloped? What part? Explain

    154 pages; 8 X 11;soft bound


    Activity 1.1 Self-esteem Banner
    Activity 1.2 Fortune Cookies
    Activity 1.3 Johari Window Sandwiches
    Activity 1.4 Self-esteem Facial Sculptures
    Activity 1.5 Understanding the Child-Self
    Activity 1.6 Retro Machine
    Activity 1.7 Self-esteem Metaphors
    Activity 1.8 Self Compassion
    Activity 1.9 Self-esteem Bingo
    Activity 1.10 Howitzer Mantras
    Activity 1.11 Self-esteem Sentence Completion
    Activity 1.12 Newspaper Identity
    Activity 2.1 The Gift
    Activity 2.2 Group Praise
    Activity 2.3 Family Rules
    Activity 2.4 Magic Garden
    Activity 2.5 The Automobile Metaphor
    Activity 2.6 Put-Down Hunt
    Activity 2.7 Differences
    Activity 2.8 Challenging Self Talk
    Activity 2.9 How Not to Be
    Activity 2.10 Polarities
    Activity 2.11 Refuting the Inner Critic
    Activity 2.12 Stroke Economy
    Activity 2.13 Projection Exercise
    Activity 2.14 Strength Exchange
    Activity 2.15 Self-esteem Learning Exchange
    Activity 3.1 Legacy
    Activity 3.2 Body Map
    Activity 3.3 Reach Out and Touch Someone
    Activity 3.4 Feeling Sensations
    Activity 3.5 The Worthy You
    Activity 3.6 Evaluating a Friendship System
    Activity 3.7 Treasure Chest
    Activity 3.8 Esteem Building Inventory
    Activity 3.9 Family Climate
    Activity 3.10 Gratefulness
    Activity 3.11 Resource Wheel
    Activity 3.12 Fantasy: Nurturing the Child of Your Past
    Resources for Activity 3.12
    Activity 4.1 Self-Mandala Assessment
    Activity 4.2 Symbols
    Activity 4.3 Daily Forgiveness
    Activity 4.4 Self-esteem Quotations
    Activity 4.5 Self-esteem Bags
    Activity 4.6 Signficant Slogans
    Activity 4.7 Goals, Barriers, and Actions
    Activity 4.8 In Twenty-five Words or Less
    Activity 4.9 Self-esteem Checklist
    Activity 4.10 Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?
    Activity 4.11 Wallet Identification
    Activity 4.12 The Three R's (Reading, Writing and Rithmetic)
    Activity 4.13 Words of Love From the Heart
    Activity 4.14 Self-esteem Affirmations
    Activity 4.15 Self-esteem Goal Setting
    Activity 4.16 Worry Buster

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