Therapy & Nature

Diversity and Dialogue

"You don't develop courage by being happy in your relationships everyday. You develop it by  surviving difficult times and challenging adversity" (Epicurus) 

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testimonials from self-esteem group members


In front of me, a door, my hands start to shake

Unsure and uneasy of what lies in wait

A tentative hand, reach up to the door

A room full of people, never seen them before

Arms crossed, eyes down, silence all around

I’m in, it’s too late and I can’t escape.


A few weeks pass, our fears subside.

It gets easier to go inside.

A warm greeting, a smiling face

We’re all here, minds in the same place.

Here to listen and change our view, of how we see ourselves,

A new strength and focus to deal with each day

Replaces the sadness and sorrow. That fades away.


Goals we made, the changes we make

Listen to the voice within, it makes no mistakes

There were tears, there was laughter, our eyes opened wide

To the fact we’re all individually beautiful inside 


The past is behind us, our future we make

Look forward not behind except to remind

Remind us how far we have come

That tentative reach has all but gone.


(A participant of the self-esteem group, January 2012) 

When my keyworker first suggested a self-esteem course, the first thing I thought was “But I’m not shy”.  This was the image I had of someone who would be classed as having low self-esteem.  One of the first things I learnt was that it can affect you in so many different ways.

On my first day I was quite nervous and found it quite hardgoing, but think this was a breakthrough for me, as this was the first time I really admitted to myself just how little I truly thought of myself and my life.  Life was not good and I couldn’t remember the last time I had actually enjoyed it, rather than drag myself through the day, and worse still is that I had lost all hope of it ever being different.

It’s amazing to think that just a few months on, my life is different, and this is a hundred percent down to the self-esteem group.  I can’t begin to describe how it feels to wake up in the morning and be free of the dread of the day ahead to not have to go through in my mind all the things I’ve done wrong, messed up, or failed at.  Now when I wake up I smile and feel so blessed I can walk into the next room and enjoy playing with my son.

I would recommend a self-esteem course to anyone thinking of doing one, it’s a great experience, sometimes it was hard, the first couple of weeks for me were quite stressful, though I think everyone else felt the same.  The other girls and the group leaders were always so supportive and easy to get along with, so we all helped each other through and it was always good to hear the other girls’ opinions on problems.  By the time the group ended we were all good friends and I was sad to say goodbye.

The group has taught me to think positively and believe in myself,  to find the good things in yourself and build on them, as well as being in a place where I felt welcome and appreciated.

I am so grateful I was given the chance to do the self-esteem course.  I’m hopeful and look forward to the future now and can’t wait to see what it brings.                            


Group participants were asked “what if anything you have learnt from the course?

“I have learnt how my self-esteem affects all parts of my life, something I’ve never thought about. Also learnt how my self-esteem can affect others around me”

“I learnt not to be afraid of people (strangers) in the group. I can do things I thought I couldn’t do”

“I learnt a bit about myself, care for who I am inside and take care of myself”

“I learnt that if you put your mind to things they can be achieved. Nobody needs to be a “doormat, be assertive and fair.”

“ I learnt how to believe in myself, how other people view me, and how different it was to what I thought, how to deal with problems that arise”.

“I have learned to be myself, to talk to people with confidence, to open up to people and to say no”


(From project evaluation forms)

I am grateful to all the women who have been part of 5 self-esteem groups. They taught me the courage to look in the mirror and start believing in themselves. The amazing transformation I have witnessed fills myself with pride and joy for all their  achievements and the many to come in the future. Well done all!

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