THIS GROUP IS NOW FULL. WE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTING NEW MEMBERS AT THIS TIME.
I recently discovered the Self-Esteem Workbook by Glenn R. Schiraldi (http://smile.amazon.com/dp/1572242523), which is an interactive guide through a 128-day program to learn about and develop self-esteem. The book consists of short chapters that address various aspects of self-esteem and is filled with exercises to help you explore your thought patterns and reframe negative experiences. I found that using the workbook has really helped me cope with difficult life circumstances and process negative emotions through simple, easy to learn techniques. Since this book has already had such a positive impact on my life, I want to share the experience with others and I think it would be beneficial for participants to work through this method in a group setting. I created this group with the intention of bringing together people interested in doing the exercises independently and sharing their experiences in a supportive group setting.
WHO IS THIS GROUP FOR?
This group may be for you, if you identify with any of the following:
• you suffer from depression or anxiety, and want to learn to overcome these debilitating conditions without relying on medication forever
• your fears or low self-esteem are holding you back from living the life you want
• you’re having ongoing relationship difficulties or feeling disconnected
• you are often stressed, busy or rushing and rarely find time to care for yourself and relax
• you have tried to work through self-help programs on your own and lost motivation
• you don’t have access to a professional counselor and would like a free alternative
• you are content with your life and self-esteem but want to be doing even better!
Anyone who is dedicated to making an effort to complete the program is welcome to come. All members go through a brief application process by answering a few short questions about their goals. The application process is meant to assess whether your goals align with the intention of the group. You don’t need to make yourself sound impressive, just provide short, honest answers to the questions.
This group is open to people of all ages, gender identities, ethnicities, abilities and sexual orientations. Oppressive or toxic behavior towards other participants will not be tolerated. Note: We will be accepting applications in a manner that ensures at least half of the group is female or genderqueer. This is because the location we meet at is a women-centered space.
WHY SHOULD YOU JOIN US?
Self-esteem is a critical component to a healthy, fulfilled life. Low self-esteem is a common root cause to many of life’s problems such as depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, unsatisfying relationships, jealousy, and even some physical health issues. Nearly everyone could benefit from improving their self-esteem, but most people don’t know how. Anyone can learn improved self-esteem if they are dedicated and have the right resources. The Self-Esteem Workbook is a guide to learning this important skill. Together, we’ll work through the exercises and help keep each other accountable to our individual goals.
WHAT SORT OF COMMITMENT DO YOU NEED TO MAKE?
This workbook is, of course, not a magical cure-all. The cognitive techniques taught in the book are based on scientific research in to how humans develop healthy self-esteem. For the program to work, it’s critical that you do all the reading and exercises. The program is designed to take 128 days (about 18 weeks). The book recommends committing 30 minutes each day, but I’ve found that it can often take a lot less time, or occasionally takes more. We’ll meet every other week on Sunday afternoons to check in and discuss what we learned and what we’re struggling with. Before coming to each meeting you should have made a decent effort to complete the reading and exercises for the two week period. You do not have to be perfect! :)
The first introductory meeting will be for all of us to get a feel for the group dynamics. You aren’t committing to come back by attending this meeting. If you choose to continue, we will expect you at the future meetings. It’s okay to miss a couple if you’re out of town or emergencies come up, but you and the group will benefit the most from consistent attendance. (You may of course choose to stop attending the group at any time, but please do let me know.)
WHERE WILL WE MEET?
The meetings will take place at Double Union, a non-profit feminist hackerspace in Lower Potrero Hill. The meeting room is fully ADA-compliant (accessible by wheelchair). There is a bathroom and kitchen in the space that we can use. Water & tea will be provided.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE MEETINGS?
Meetings will be about 90 minutes long and will follow this general structure:
• Opening: we’ll each introduce ourselves and briefly check in about how things are going for us
• Workbook Review: we’ll review the current section of the workbook and make sure we all understand the lesson and how to do the exercises
• Exercise Share: volunteers will share their completed exercises or ask for help from the group
• Discussion: if time permits, we’ll discuss individual experiences more in depth
• Closing: we’ll set individual goals for the next two weeks
• Social Time: we’ll keep the space open for 30 minutes after the meeting for optional socializing and continued discussing
Participants are encouraged to be open and authentic with the group. No one will be pressured to share anything they don’t want to share. When we go around the circle to share, passing is *always* an option. You may take breaks from the room or leave the meeting at anytime, no questions asked.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZER
Hi, I’m Dash. I live in San Francisco and work as a software engineer. I am organizing this group to bring together members of the community to support each other for free and on our own terms. Please note that I’m *not* a licensed therapist or counselor. I am not here to lead you, but I will be guiding the group discussions and will share my skills when they are helpful. Although I am not a licensed counselor, I do have plenty of experience that has motivated me to create this group. Through high school I participated in an emotional intelligence and leadership program that spearheaded my interest in formal emotional growth. In college, I got involved in social justice activism, motivated by a desire to fight against systems of injustice throughout our world. I helped found Bonfire Collective in Santa Barbara, a group working to open a worker-run, worker-owned cafe and radical bookstore. In San Francisco, I currently organize two reading groups (a monthly feminist book club, and a biweekly anarchist study group). I am also on the Board of Directors of Double Union, the non-profit feminist hackerspace that we will be meeting at. Throughout these years and projects, I have built many supportive interpersonal relationships. I love helping friends achieve their goals, and I want to help you with yours.
I am a firm believer in the growth mindset, the idea that abilities are learned skills rather than static traits we are born with. I have dedicated much of my time to self-learning and practicing many relevant skills:
• Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) techniques
• Productivity techniques
• Mindfulness-based meditation
• Science of nutrition, sleep and exercise
• Political philosophy
• Group facilitation (including consensus-based decision making)
• Event planning
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly. I look forward to meeting you!