I Myself is a psychotherapy group for adolescent teen girls aged 12-15 facilitated by Nida Hamid, M.A., Psy.S., L.L.P. The group will begin within the next two weeks, please call our Apex Westland Office at 734 729-3133 to join! The group offers an opportunity for young women to gain skills in identifying and articulating emotional and social concerns they may experience. Girls will also learn to strengthen self-awareness as they are preparing to transition into adulthood. I Love Myself is a dicussion group offering a chance for self expression and peer support.
I Love Myself aims to elevate self-esteem, increase self confidence, and heighten a positive self image while improving social skills, choice making, and stress management. The group will provide an outlet for sharing in a secure environment. Young women will have the chance to express themselves through interactive games, discussions, and didactics which also provide peer support.
The young women will be taught how to identify and label their feelings, and I Love Myself is here to help in the identification process. The ability to verbalize emotional needs will help the young women evaluate what their needs actually are and inspire brainstorming ways to make needs reality. We will teach the girls how to identify distorted images of the self and the world surrounding them, and how to implement daily responsibilities and self care. Sharing of one’s self with other young women will help feed positive ways of communication and birth a new self acceptance.
Problem Statement: Transitions for young people can be extremely difficult. I Love Myself is based on the belief that young women lack support systems while they are experiencing important stages in their lives. Sometimes, the caregivers or parents of an adolescent girl is not large enough of a support system. Young women may find it difficult to trust adults and avoid doing so. If one can speak to an adult, there is the possibility that feelings of shame and disappointment arise, in turn creating self blame because the young woman does not fit the expectation of the adult. So, from a young age, one starts to develop avoidance which can be very harmful to the self of the individual.
Ruiz (1997) states:
“Now imagine that all humans have this skin disease. Nobody can touch each other because it is going to hurt. Everyone has wounds on their skin, so the infection is seen as normal, the pain is also considered normal; we believe we are supposed to be that way. Can you imagine how we would behave with each other if all the humans in the world had this skin disease? Of course we would hardly ever hug each other because it would be too painful. So we would need to create a lot of distance between us.” (Ruiz, 1997, p. 113)
The minds of many young women are similar to this description of infected skin. One can be so fearful of touching their own emotions, and allowing others to touch theirs, because of the pain. Some young women create a wall around them because they do not want this pain to be discovered.
Goal and purpose: This group has been developed for young women aged 12-15. The group will determine its own unique direction; the content may change but the requirements will remain the same.
The purpose of I Love Myself is to help girls verbalize their fears while increasing thoughts and language of self acceptance. We will help young women develop positive self talk as a way of boosting self confidence. The goal for this group is to create an environment for the members to acquire advanced coping skills and to address conflict in their lives in an empowering manner! Doing so will help the members gain self awareness when faced with complex situations so they are able to identify their emotions and triggers. This acquired awareness can help these young women observe their choices and make better decisions.
Philosophy: Humans think in language, so if we change our language we can change the way we think. I view language as a way of communicating with ourselves and others as a way to express who we are and our intentions; our beliefs and values are manifested in our word. Our word is extremely powerful, and because of its power we need to be aware of the impact it can have on ourselves and those around us.
Don Ruiz (2004) discusses how the legend of Adam and Eve is a story about us as humans. It is a story about a man and a woman, the original humans, set in the tree of knowledge, a tree of life and death. The tree of knowledge was quite beautiful and produced juicy, delicious fruit. Adam and Eve were warned not venture near the tree, for the fruit of the tree could result in death. A fallen angel that lived in the tree spread lies and fear, for he presented himself in the form of a slimy serpent. The fruit of the tree of knowledge was now punctured with lies. After being seduced by the fallen angel, we believed the lies and put our faith in them. When the apple was bit into, we tasted all the lies that came with the knowledge. The lies were in the form of a seed that was now planted in our minds, and soon it reproduced a whole mental tree of knowledge consisting of mostly lies.
Ruiz (2004) states that:
“Once the tree of knowledge is alive in our minds we hear the fallen angel talking very loudly. That voice never stops judging. It tells us what is right and what is wrong, what is beautiful and what is ugly. The story teller is born inside our head, and survives inside our head because we feed it with our faith.” (p.12).
The story of Adam and Eve tells us of how humanity came into existence and how we became the way we are today. Today, we are witness to our own experience of all the lies we may hear in our head. The voice may be judging and making its own opinions. The voice did not exist before we could learn or speak; the voice only comes after we have learned. We only speak our truth until the tree of knowledge is born in our head. All of our self-rejections, self judgments, our guilt and shame that we feel are a creation of this voice we have begun to believe. If one continues to feed this judgmental voice with faith then low self-esteem, low self confidence will dictate one’s world.
Ruiz states that:
“Every time you lie to yourself, or judge yourself or reject yourself, you have an emotional reaction, and it isn’t pleasant. If you don’t like the emotional reactions it’s not about repressing what you feel; it’s about cleaning up the lies that cause it. All of your emotions change when you no longer believe in lies because the emotions are the effect not the cause.” (p. 118).
I Love Myself will help with the discussion on awareness of agreements created internally amongst young women and we aim to help them free themselves from the chains of imprisonment of their true evolving self.
Interventions: Through the use of interactive games, such as the “talking, feeling, and doing game,” discussions, and didactics, young women will have a chance for self expressions and peer support. We will assist the young women in reframing their language and becoming aware of how they express or act out negative feelings about themselves. Members will be encouraged to journal daily one positive statement about themselves as a way to develop a positive self reportoire in aim to boost a positive self image. Role playing is also used to improve social skills and assertiveness.
If you have any questions, or would like to join the I Love Myself group, please call our Apex Westland office and ask for Nida Hamid, the group’s facilitator.