You, at your best"...finding the areas of emotional health to improve, access, or develop, I focus on helping the individual to connect to a time or times when they felt healthy emotionally... Even those clients who have had horrific pasts have had moments when they felt good, strong, resilient, happy, safe, etc. Accessing those moments so that they are able to own what they felt, did, had, etc in order to feel good about themselves or their lives gives them a sense of empowerment. All too often when people feel sad, depressed, angry, hopeless , helpless, etc. it stems from not knowing how to access any other feelings...Not because we have to be happy or "up" all the time, but because we all want to know that, just as good times may be fleeting, bad times are also transient as well, and in accessing our feelings of empowerment they can learn to trust in their abilities to cope with the "not so good" feelings and moments in healthy and yes, hopeful ways... In short, to add to the list, I'd put in 1. empowerment, 2.trust in one's ability to cope" Loren Gelberg-Goff
Here we have self-esteem expert, Ms Gelberg-Goff making a very useful point. All of us go through difficult periods in our lives, have problems and are faced with challenges. We sometimes do a pretty good job of working through these trials. Those memories are put to good use when we sort through them for our effective coping abilities. What were they? Make a list. Thus, we can learn from our own past, our own prior experiences and how we used our own creative powers of finding a solution. If you can identify some of these, not only will it help you to be satisfied and proud of yourself but, also, will give you back those resources for current or future problems.
Her main point though is, I think, that we can remember ourselves when we were in excellent condition and use that to nourish our self-esteem. I will add that we can put reminiscing into a practical exercise: Remember a time in your life when you felt really centered, energetic, hopeful, engaged, and alive! What were you doing? What were the circumstances in your life at that time? What was different then from now? When you can actually delineate the personal qualities you had in gear, what you were doing, and what was happening around you, you have the material to duplicate at least some of that in current time.
At any point in time, we are our own living repertoire.
We are the sum of all that we have ever been.