Before, we have seen these four goals:
- To improve the capacity to respond by stimulating and enriching mental images and concepts and by helping the feelings about these images to surface.
- To increase self understanding by healing individuals value their own person-hood and become more knowledgeable and more accurate about self-perceptions.
- To increase awareness of interpersonal relationships.
- To improve reality orientation (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1994).
Now let’s examine number two – To increase self understanding by healing individuals value their own person-hood and become more knowledgeable and more accurate about self-perceptions.
Do I know myself? Am I worthy? These two questions may seem easy to you, but they aren’t to some. There may be things about the participants that they gloss over, ignore, hide from, or simply deny. Investigating literature and poetry can cause the individual to explore what it really means to be THEM, who they are, from what they are made, or what they have been. Examining literature causes the child to examine themselves. Knowing yourself is important.
And are they worthy? Various individuals may not feel strong in the self-esteem game. They could have bad opinions about themselves because they feel different from others, or perhaps they grew up with toxic individuals who told them they were bad, or unworthy. Taking time to read and respond to the discussion materials gives them self-esteem through proximity, and by feeling better about reading it, discussing it, interacting with their peers, it can cause a change in them and they begin to feel worthy because they know who they are, what they like, and they are affirmed through the program.
There are three ways to achieve this goal:
- Self-affirmation by simple response.
- Self-affirmation through recollection of the past.
- Self-affirmation through opinion giving (Hynes & Hynes-Berry, 1994).
Number one – Self-affirmation by simple response.
- Participation. It seems easy enough, but simply engaging is a win. Speaking in front of others is difficult for many, and feeling safe enough to do so makes an individual grow. It gives them power.
Number two – Self-affirmation through recollection of of the past.
- The past is tricky, but it’s ours. We can learn a lot about ourselves by studying from where we’ve come. It can be painful, it can be pleasant, but the act of recalling memories for examination helps us along the path to personal understanding.
Number three – Self-affirmation through opinion-giving.
- Responding to the material is great for learning about the self. For a participant to form opinions about the text and express them, forces insight, a stepping stone on the path to understanding more about their own “person-hood.”