Monday, April 02, 2007

thoughts...

1. OK, so I ran across a news headline this morning: "Venomous box jellyfish have human-like eyes." I was just really struck by how poetic that sounded. Like Zen poetry, maybe. Hmm...

2. I was having a discussion with a fellow psychologist I work with about "self esteem" and he surprised me a little bit by telling me that he doesn't really like the notion of self-esteem. Instead, he prefers to think about Bandura's term "self-efficacy." In other words, he prefers to focus his work on whether people perceive themselves as capable of having an impact on their world (social and otherwise). Interesting...

3. We also talked about the idea that progress in therapy is not so much substituting one belief about ourselves for another -- but creating a better ability to realistically appraise ourselves, and then to take actions in our lives designed to improve our self-image or maintain a generally positive self-image. The notion here is that it is no more healthy to have an unchanging but positive self-image (e.g., thinking positively about oneself while treating others poorly) than it is to have an unchanging but negative one (e.g., as in the case of depression). The goal should be to have a self-image that is flexible, that we regulate through our thoughts and actions.

2 comments:

Dennis said...

often it seems to me that if we work with clients on impulse control and emotional regulation we might see some development in their understanding of self as they begin to discover some stability in their day to day lives. Going straight for self-esteem seems like a little bit of a short cut.

Alex said...

Very interesting post. Thank you!