Positive Affirmations For Happier, More Positive Days
Affirmations can be an extremely powerful tool to use in the counselling room and we'll see how you can use these throughout therapy with a client.
There are several affirmation books, apps or websites out which you can refer your client to throughout their therapeutic journey.
I, at the beginning of therapy might introduce the concept of affirmations. The purpose of these when considering a psychological approach is to help an individual look at things differently or to lift their mood.
Affirmations can combat stress, decrease anxiety and create positive thinking.
Carl Rogers since stated ‘ life at its best is a flowing, changing process in which nothing is fixed’ in showing your clients this statement, it may help them to understand that we can not fix the past, or the things that they have experienced but that life goes on ever changing. It is the changing and fluidity we as counsellors can help with.
Positive affirmations help a client address perhaps low self esteem, and how to feel more in control of different situations that they are in.
When looking at more structured affirmations I will create flash cards of general statements:
- ‘ I am a strong person’
- ‘People do care for me’
- ‘I am reliable’
- ‘I am worthy’
- ‘I am loved by others’
- ‘I am smart’
When I show flash cards to clients in a structured way, I will be asking them to read them morning and night, then asking them to reflect on their day whilst reading these. In doing this, I am trying to change their mind set to the glass half full type statement.
Sometimes I will introduce affirmations also in the idea of a game, getting a client to left a card and read aloud the statement, I will then get them to keep the card for a week, reading it daily and coming back to the next session and exploring the effect of reading it and how it made them feel. This again helps to implement the ‘glass half full’ approach.
As therapy processes and I see an improvement in mood, I will address affirmations on a more personal note.
To do this I must have a good alliance with my client, therefore the core conditions are paramount at this stage.
My justification for using affirmations could be to address self esteem. When someone attends counselling with negative thoughts like ‘I am not good enough, others are better than me, I am hopeless’ could indicate to me that self esteem may be an issue for them.
I will first educate my client on what self esteem is and then go on to explore how their a low self esteem is impacting on their life. Normally I will then go deeper into self esteem work after exploring and educating.
Then I will apply positive affirmation work. Within these sheets I look at the client’s whole being, making the statements specific to them. This can be difficult for the client to say as normally they do not believe those things about themselves.
Within following sessions we will go through affirmations (see below table) and spend time allowing the client to address how these statements are true, and how they can agree with them. We may also set up some behaviour experiments to help the client strengthen the belief better. This can take time, but the benefits to helping your client boast their overall view will have a positive effect in how they manage and view life in the future.
ALL ABOUT ME SELF POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS
THE COLOUR ……LOOKS GOOD ON ME
I FEEL GOOD WHEN…..
MY FRIENDS SAY…..
IN THE FUTURE I CAN…..
I LIKE MYSELF BECAUSE….
I LOOK GOOD WHEN……
THE PERSON I MOST LOOK UP TO IS ……..
MY FAMILY SAY ………….
THE FEAR I CAN FACE IS…….
I AM MOST HAPPY WHEN…….
PEOPLE SAY I AM A …….
I AM STRONG LIKE………..
THE THING THAT MAKES ME UNIQUE IS …..
THE ONE PERSON THAT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD ABOUT MYSELF……
MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY RESPECT ME BECAUSE……
I AM GOOD AT……
I AM PROUD OF ……
I REALLY ENJOY…..
I HAVE BEEN TOLD I HAVE PRETTY………
I KNOW I WILL SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE BECAUSE….
Clients can create their own diary or affirmations which they can keep with them at all times. You could work together in a therapy session to create one. You can as a therapist recommend different books (some listed below which I would recommend), or apps on the phone (listed below). It is about finding the best method and approach for your client.
Again, some clients will not appreciate affirmations and therefore assessing and knowing your client is vital in the process of therapy.
Here are some helpful apps:
- Unique daily affirmations.
- Think up: positive affirmations
- Affirmations- daily motivation
- Virtual hope box
And a few websites that can be helpful:
I have personally used these apps and websites with my clients, some of which have really benefited from them.
Affirmations are not for every client, but can be adapted in the therapy room to enchant your work with a client.