managing personal problems

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  • Support - make people feel normal Many people have this problem What support do you have to deal with this?
  • Objectivity - feed back a realistic picture What's the worst thing that could happen? Is that very likely? What would you advise a close friend in this situation? If you had a magic wand, what would you change?
  • Acceptance and self-acceptance Be as non-judgmental and accepting as possible: I'm not surprised you feel like that. Encourage better feelings about self and family: It sounds as though you/your parents did the best they could under the circumstances. Coach patients to feel differently about themselves especially if overcritical: I think you're being too hard on yourself. Who taught you to be so negative about yourself? What else could you do with all this time and energy? Seeing the funny side of the situation might help.
  • Present focus - focus more on the present, not on the past or on fears for the future Explore attitude and behaviour options: What could you do differently? ..What would happen? Be optimistic and make plans for the immediate future: If you set your mind to it, I think you could do it. Practise self-assertiveness. Ask directly for what you want, not just hint or hope, and express feelings: I don't want to go on this holiday. I need more help with the children. I feel angry you work away so much.

ref: RE Rakel, Essentials of Family Practice, 1993

Last reviewed 01/2018