As a therapist, I focus on presenting issues, the problems that compel a person to sit with me. Sure, I balance these functional impairments by looking for strengths and support. Still, the focus is on identifying and repairing damage, secondary and tertiary prevention.
I came across a list of indicators for positive ego strength while studying for the licensing exam. It was refreshing to look at a list of positive mental health criteria instead of DSM5 criteria for disorders.
I found myself checking my own emotional/ ego strength. Some items on the list are easier for me than others. Check to celebrate your own strengths and ability to live a full life.
- Acknowledging their feelings – including grief, insecurity, loneliness, anxiety
- Not getting overwhelmed with their moods
- Pushing forward after loss and not being paralyzed by self-pity or resentment
- Using painful events to strengthen themselves
- Knowing that painful feelings will eventually fade
- Empathizing with others without trying to reduce or eliminate their pain
- Being self-disciplined and fighting addictive urges
- Taking responsibility for actions
- Holding themselves accountable
- Not blaming others
- Accepting themselves with their limitations
- Setting firm limits event if it means disappointing others or risking rejection
- Avoiding people who drain them physically or emotionally
- Tolerance of pain associated with loss, disappointment, shame or guilt
- Forgiveness of others with feelings of compassion rather than anger
- Persistence and perseverance in pursuit of goals
- Openness, flexibility, creativity in learning to adapt
From Social Work ASWB Masters Exam Guide by Dawn Apgar, 2018.