Exercise

My therapist suggested that 1 go around the group and tell each individual how I felt about him or her. The therapist instructed me to address each individual going around the group clockwise. The tendency to analyze, intellectualize, and give details was discouraged. For example, I would look directly at Bob and say, "Bob, I feel very safe and secure with you in group. I feel that I can trust you and value your input." "Cindy, it's difficult for me to take advice from you because you are very punitive and mean spirited." Their responses were not necessarily required, however should they want to respond they could do so after the exercise. Expressing myself released emotions and allowed me to address my discomfort and inhibition at dealing with unpleasant feelings. Avoiding redundancy and being sincere especially with negative feedback toward others was intimidating.

Building Self-Esteem Using Assertiveness Training and Props 305

To embolden my position and help reduce the anxiety I felt at having to confront my issues with my family, it was suggested that I carry a megaphone, which was presented to me one night in group. Laughter is sometimes the best stress reliever! Armed with confidence, and a prop, I declared to my family that from now on "they were on their own!" Furthermore, the power of group involvement and support cannot be underestimated. Knowing that one has made a commitment to oneself and to group prevents the shirking of this responsibility. Coming back to group with a successful outcome, or at least a successful attempt at meeting the challenge, is self-affirming—a confidence builder on its own.

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

Anxiety and Panic Attacks

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