7-1 Discussion: Improving Self-Esteem and Identity
Self-esteem and identity provide individuals with a foundation for viewing themselves, how others view them, and even how they define how they will approach the world. Modern, holistic understandings of developmental psychology reiterate that parenting, social interactions, educational and athletic achievement, artistic expressions, and innate ability all play a role in the formation of these concepts. The ability to intervene to improve self-esteem and identity formation can be instrumental in establishing a healthy path in life. You are challenged to research programs and activities that target the improvement of self-esteem:
- Which theory or research does the program/activity align with from the course materials?
- Identify the child or adolescent age group that the program/activity targets. How does the program define and assess self-esteem?
- Critique the activities cultural sensitivity and effectiveness.
In response to your peers, review the information presented and offer improvements or concerns in regard to the program or activity (culture or age).
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.
AFTER COMPLETING THE INITIAL POST, PLEASE ALSO RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING TWO STUDENTS REGARDING THE SAME TOPIC!
Solstice East- is a residential treatment center that helps teenage girls ages 14-17 years with low self-esteem and other issues.
Which theory or research does the program/activity align with from the course materials?
Solstice East uses a holistic approach when it comes to treating low self-esteem in teenagers. The treatment options include therapeutic measures, psychiatric help, and also academic observations and interactions. They use real-life tactics and help their clients learn to cope and establish tools that they can take out into the real world.
Treatment options: various therapy sessions, social skills and academic classes, proper nutrition, physical fitness, everyday life situations, and total body and mind relationship building.
Identify the child or adolescent age group that the program/activity targets. How does the program define and assess self-esteem?
The targeted group is teenage girls (14-17 years of age) only. Some of the symptoms of teenage low self- esteem:
Difficulty with social interactions
Feeling overly shy, awkward around others
Increased feelings of pessimism
Increased risk of teenage pregnancy
Feelings of insecurity
Underachieving in school and activities
Feelings of anger/hostility
Lack of motivation
Feelings of depression, anxiety
Doesn’t put self out there
Becomes a follower/doesn’t want to stand out in a crowd
Critique the activities of cultural sensitivity and effectiveness.
Volunteering is a significant component of the program. The girls participate in service twice a month. This allows them to look beyond themselves and give back to their community. Some of the service projects include opportunities to volunteer at some of the following venues:
- local fitness events
- food banks
- nature centers and gardens
- animal shelters
- nursing homes
- various other community awareness events
Through this experiential model, the insights the girls gain become a very powerful tool that they can apply to their daily lives. As they are continually challenged in several different realms, the girls gain a better understanding of themselves as a whole person. There is incredible power psychologically about offering help and servicing others. It helps them recognize that there are needs outside of their own. Along with this, the positive feelings of contributing to the community or another can strengthen their development as strong, positive, young women in society. Young people’s evaluation of themselves and their competencies is a very important part of self that can influence all aspects of their conduct and psychological well-being (Shaffer & Kipp, 2014).
The program also offers an Adventure Therapy program that is designed to provide teens with well-rounded, meaningful learning opportunities through outdoor recreation, experiential education and community service, and events. Its purpose is to create a culture that fosters the development of strong, positive identities among young women. As they develop and learn alongside one another, they form trusting, caring relationships that can be sustained for a lifetime.
They also offer Equine Therapy. In Equine therapy, teens learn about communication and relationships. The horses provide a powerful mirror for the teens– reflecting their moods as well as verbal and nonverbal communication from the student. This mirror from the horses enables the teens to evaluate and change their communication patterns and relationship styles.
Equine therapy can help teens show a marked improvement in:
• Impulse control
• Problem-solving skills
For example, when the girls learn the concepts of pressure and release with horses during a session, they can begin to understand how to apply and respond to these similar pressures in relationships with friends and family. With this knowledge, the girls learn to improve communication and how to be constructively assertive.
Milieu is another experiential therapy approach that uses the environment to see behaviors and emotions in practice. The social culture of an adolescent has a powerful influence on her behavior. Milieu experiential therapy utilizes the social culture of the residential treatment center to create positive changes in teenage girls. These changes are achieved through therapeutic use of the girl’s “community”, which includes their peers, staff, community roles and responsibilities, groups, and meetings. The positive influence of peers can promote a powerful and lasting change when combined with the skillful application of other therapeutic interventions.
Family, group, individual therapy, and psychiatric services are also offered in the program.
One’s home environments, their peers, parent’s interactions, and culture all influence self-esteem (Shaffer & Kipp, 2014).
Shaffer, D.R. & Kipp, K. (2014). Developmental Psychology: Childhood & Adolescent (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Solstice east. (n.d.) Residential Treatment Center for Teens 14-17. Retrieved from https://solsticeeast.com/
Beautiful me which is a part of the national Self-Esteem Rising foundation.
The theory, age, cultural, and description
“This free self-esteem curriculum is offered to females of all ages in schools and organizations that meet the criteria” (Beautiful me fact sheet, n.d.). It is three one- hour sessions, that are designed to highlight a different aspect of self-conﬁdence and self-care. Along with a series of activities and discussions that encourage and empower the participants. These activities include: “learning how to accept compliments, developing coping mechanisms to turn negative thoughts or qualities into positives, and tools to become more independent and conﬁdent in their own way” (Beautiful me fact sheet, n.d.). Cultural does not seem to be a factor as this program is encouraged for all females no matter the age.
Connection with course material
This program helps encourage females to embrace and encourage positive self -esteem in a world that is very negative about how females look at their bodies. According to Shaffer and Kipp (2014), self-esteem is evaluative and refers to a child’s satisfaction with the qualities and views of themselves (self-concept) (p.421). Social contributions to self-esteem can include peers, parents, culture, and ethnicity. With so many contributions, self-esteem for a female can easily become negative. As children become older, they become more away of their self-identity and self-awareness which often declines.
Erik Erikson felt that “young adolescents who experience the many physical, cognitive, and social changes associated with puberty often become confused and show at least some erosion of self-esteem as they leave childhood” (Shaffer & Kipp, 2014, p.423). Research has even shown this happening as children become older from Richard Robins et al. (2002). This information is a bit outdated, but I have no doubt that low self-esteem is still a struggle for people no matter what age. Therefore, we need programs like Beautiful me, that targets female’s, and hopefully in the future males.
Beautiful me fact sheet. (n.d.). Beautiful me fact sheet. Retrieved from https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5ad50d681aef1ddafde7941b/t/5dbced336164d93f9b4b5480/1572662580185/Beautiful Me fact sheet.pdf
Robins, R. W., Trzesniewski, K. H., Tracy, J. L., Gosling, S. D., & Potter, J. (2002). Global self-esteem across the life span. Psychology and Aging, 17(3), 423–434. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1037/0882-79184.108.40.2063
Shaffer, D. R., & Kipp, K. (2014). Developmental psychology: childhood and adolescence (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.