Self Esteem Affirmation Rating Scale

 

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Earlier this school year, one of my 6th grade students came to me wanting help with some self esteem issues she was experiencing. In our initial meeting, I was using some scaling questions to gather information, and I decided to try out an idea that popped into my head, which is the self esteem affirmation rating scale I’ll be sharing with you today.

In the first meeting, when that particular student was expressing self esteem problems, I had her identify the negative thoughts she was having about herself {i.e. I am weird, I am ugly, my stomach is too big, etc.}. Then, we turned those negative statements into positive ones {the way she wants to think of herself} as a way to begin reframing her thoughts. Using those positive statements, the student rated each item on a scale from 1-10, with 1 meaning that she absolutely does not believe the statement at all and 10 meaning she fully and completely believes it is true. These are the items we had rated by the end of our first meeting:

  • I am beautiful
  • I am not weird
  • I am the good kind of crazy
  • I am awesome
  • My stomach is perfect just the way it is
  • My nose is perfect just the way it is
  • My feet are perfect just the way they are
  • I don’t care what anyone says or thinks about me

The student also made this list into a poster that she keeps in her bathroom. Every morning she reads the list out loud as a way to reinforce her thought modification.

Each subsequent session with this student began with us going through the rating scale items. This allowed us both to see her progress, and it offered me some great information. For example, if there was a dramatic drop on one item, that let me know something significant probably happened, which then gave me a ready made open-ended question to ask {i.e. “Last week, you rated ‘I am beautiful’ at an 8, and this week you rated it a 3. Can you tell me about that?”}.

I turned the rating scale from each meeting into a graph so that we could easily see the progress, and after the 5th session together, there was a big jump from each initial number to the ending point on the graph. This let me know that my CBT techniques were working for this particular child {which is feedback we don’t often get as counselors…especially in schools}.

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This is now a student that I check in with from time to time and see on an as needed basis, but she still asks if she can mark her ratings on the graph each time she comes to see me {even if there has been a long stretch when we didn’t meet}. I definitely will be using this with students in the future because I think it gives them thought modification goals and provides a visual representation of the progress being made.


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