Self Improvement Articles by Dr. Jane



The articles on this particular site cover a variety of personal growth and healing subjects that are my special interests and expertise. When you click on the links below, they will take you to that subject area.

As Featured On EzineArticles



Self Esteem

  • High Self Valuing Is The Best Predictor of Success: How Do You Know If You Need More Self-Esteem
    It’s natural to feel high self esteem, unless we have been taught that we are ‘not enough.’ The good news is that if we have been taught to have low self esteem, we can also learn the skills to promote high self esteem.
  • Release Shame Binds
    Dysfunctional shame binds can hold you back. But you CAN get free. Here are some tips for conquering the inhibiting power of shame.
  • How To Double Your Creativity
    How would you like it if you could double (some say triple) your creativity without taking double the time from your other work? And how would it improve your life to develop a routine that sustained both the quality and quantity of creative productivity? And would you like the increased sense of vitality, self connection and self esteem?
  • Self Esteem Inventory 
    Taking this 58 question inventory can show you your current level of self-esteem, and how yours compares with others.
  • Risk Inspiration for Self-Esteem
    Self esteem grows with taking risks. Get inspiration here. "A risk a day can keep the 'not-good-enoughs' away."

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Anxiety and Stress

  • Current Life Stressor Worksheet
    Understanding your current life stressors is one of the first things a therapist will want to do.See for yourself the standard life events that cause our stresses, and assess how many of the stressful things are going on in your life right now. When you add up your stressors, it may help you realize all that you are going through. That may help you validate yourself for how you are feeling. Once you get a clear view, you can make a plan for how to manage what you are dealing with.
  • Anxiety Triggers
    Finding your anxiety triggers begins the process of coping effectively. This worksheet helps you track what you are already doing that is working for you and what is not. When you have that clarity, you can then focus on learning other helpful strategies.
  • 17+ Sleep Tips from the Expert
    During times of increased stress and anxiety, it often becomes difficult to get enough sleep to sustain your well-being. Dr. Michael Perlis, head of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the University of Rochester, an expert on insomnia, has plenty of advice to offer on how to get the rest you need.
  • The Beginnings of The Anxious Self
    Some family patterns seem to increase the frequency of anxiety problems for adults. The patterns involve parental control through over-protection or rejection.
  • 8 Steps to Inner Conflict Resolution
    Your inner conflicts can be helped enormously by going through these 8 steps. The important attitude is respect for each of your part's needs

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Assertiveness

  • Caught Between the Anxiety Hard Rock and the Guilty Hard Place?
    A major cause of stress, overwhelm and burntoutedness is the habit of ignoring the yearnings of our own True Selves while saying "yes" to other people's requests or demands. What makes us do that? It's usually out of fears and the false beliefs that go with the fears. If this sound like you, you can find help. Learning to honor your own needs as well as consider others' needs is the path of assertiveness.
  • How Assertive Are YOU? A Self Assessment for Healthy Boundaries
    Take this 20 question quiz to determine whether you are honoring yourself or stressing yourself out by pleasing other people.
  • Dr. Jane’s Review of the Book: The Assertive Woman
    The Assertive Woman by S. Phelps & N. Austin is reviewed in the American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy. This re-issue of an 80's classic includes an up-to-date resource guide which lists websites & videos. It also gently warns women to to get caught up in shame-producing demands of perfection while they are learning more healthy behaviors.

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Co-dependency

  • The Drama of the Gifted Child
    In The Drama Of The Gifted Child Journal Article by famed psychoanalyst, Alice Miller, she describes how the people-pleasing patterns are formed when caretakers are unable to meet the needs of the child.
  • Co-dependency: Half A Loaf of Self
    Co-dependency is examined as half a loaf of self caring. Either caring for the other in the role of the "giver" or caring for the self in the role of the "taker" and not caring for both is the pattern. Methods of controlling to get needs met are visited.
  • Self-Esteem and Your Inner Child
    Answers to questions such as why would you "talk" with your Inner Child, what is an Inner Child, and how does talking with your Inner Child increase self esteem.
  • How To Dialogue With Your Inner Child
    Inner Child Dialogue Information: what is it, why do it, when, where, and how to dialogue with your Inner Child



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Self Discovery


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Feelings

  • The Feelings Release Letter
    Feelings Release Letters can help you get relief and clarity when you feel all jumbled up with strong, difficult, and sometimes contradictory feelings. You can decide after writing the letter what you part of it you would like to communicate- if anything.
  • Essential Facts About Feelings
    Without knowing these essential facts about feelings, you could live a life of self-hatred.
  • Name That Feeling
    For those of you who like to know the science behind therapists' behaviors, I quote an article that explains the effectiveness of talking about your feelings.It was written by Julie Steenhuysen and published in a Chicago newspaper in 2007.

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Communication

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Relationships

  • The Importance of Non-verbal  Communication In Your Relationships
    Our non-verbal communication is the basis for forming and maintaining relationships. Most of us are not aware of our non-verbal messages. So that whole important area is part of the "I don't know what I don't know" that can have a huge impact-helpful or hurtful- on your relationships
  • Constructive Responses To Anger & Conflict
  • Anger is one step in a series of 5 steps toward resolution of conflict. Anger, the affect (feeling), is different from one’s responses to one’s anger, or to responses to the event. We need to learn to accept our own and other’s anger so that we don’t get caught up in it.
  • Sharing With Intimates About Frustrating Events
    There's nothing like intimate relationships to pull the worst from us. There is also no greater catalyst for self growth and self-esteem. Use this worksheet to help with your growth in your relationship.


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Tools, Tips, Therapy Aids & Self Assessments

  • How To Get Absolutely, Positively Clear About What You Want From Therapy and Life Coaching
    Answering these questions makes sure we are as clear as possible about what you specifically desire.
  • The 12 Most Common Automatic Thinking Mistakes
  • (Also called Automatic Thoughts or Cognitive Distortions)
    Although some negative automatic thoughts are true, many are either untrue or have just a grain of truth.
  • Automatic Thoughts Daily Tracking Chart
    The first steps to managing your feelings are 1) noticing when you feel distress (anger, anxiety, hurt, fear, guilt and shame for example), then 2) identifying the thoughts that trigger and maintain the feeling. As you learn your repeating automatic thoughts, you can begin to look and see if they are the TRUTH - or only a belief. If the thought is merely a belief, you can challenge it and replace it with a thought that is more supportive to you.
  • Automatic Thought Challenge Sheet
    Once you have recognized an automatic thought, you can begin to correct your thinking by challenging your old automatic thinking patterns. Use these Challenge Questions to help.
  • Behavior/Belief Cost Benefit Analysis Sheet
    This cost/benefit analysis worksheet can help you when you find a belief or behavior you are considering changing. It helps to see what benefits you may be getting from the belief or behavior. Then you can plan other ways of getting that benefit, if you still want to make a change. It also helps support your decision to change if you fully understand the ways you are being held back or hurt if you don't change. You can make an informed choice. The information can also help your motivation.
  • Transforming Problems Into Goals
  • When we change problems into goals, we can immediately shift from despair to hope.
  • Transforming Defensiveness To True Self Care
    We all learned very young to protect ourselves from certain feelings that would get us into painful interactions with our caretakers. As an adult, however, this defensiveness is often the cause for provoking more pain in our relationships. Use this sheet to understand your current less productive ways of soothing your feelings, and to imagine other healthy possibilities.
  • Needs Fulfillment Self Assessment
    While some people feel guilty pursuing their needs, I think it is our personal responsibility to do so. I define responsibility as meeting one's needs without interfering with others meeting their needs, or breaking the law. If your own needs are unfulfilled, you will not have the resources to meet anyone else's needs. Use this worksheet to see how well you are meeting your needs.
  • Balancing The Wheel of Life
    This Wheel of Life Focusing Exercise helps you by giving you an overview of your life. You can then see where you are operating at your fullest, and where you might want to expand. It can alert you to areas that you might have overlooked. You may see this visual overview method used many places- it is the standard Life Coaching starting point.


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Creativity  & “The Artist’s Way,” Plus

  • How To Double Your Creativity
    How would you like it if you could double (some say triple) your creativity without taking double the time from your other work? And how would it improve your life to develop a routine that sustained both the quality and quantity of creative productivity? And would you like the increased sense of vitality, self connection and self esteem?
  • “The Artist’s Way” Creativity Tool: The Morning Pages
  • “Morning Pages” is a term used by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way, for a primary creativity tool. It involves writing 3 stream-of-consciousness pages, longhand, every morning.
  • Chose Creativity or Depression
    If  you said 'yes' to even one of these 5 questions, you are keeping yourself from reaching for full self expression. You are suppressing your vitality. You are depressing yourself. Chose creativity instead.
  • Quotes for Creative Inspiration
    Read these quotes for inspiration and encouragement when you are feeling stumped or scared.


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How to Get the Most from Your Therapy and Coaching

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Hypnotism

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For/About Therapists & Coaches

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Dr. Jane’s Therapeutic Influences

  •  A Lemon-Aided Life (Part1)
    Interview (Part 1) with Dr. Jane Bolton, PsyD, LMFT, CC
    I realize that there are many things that happened that at the time were so difficult to experience yet turned out to be of great support, guidance, and motivation.
  • A Lemon-Aided Life (Part 2)
    Interview (Part 2) with Dr. Jane Bolton, PsyD, LMFT, CC
    I learned the value of respecting other points of view. I am absolutely rabid about that…therapists chose theoretical stances due to the values they develop. And values often develop from the pain we have encountered. I believe that part of the fit between the therapist and client is due to a values fit- at least at first.

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