Self-Help Care
“I can accept myself, feeling warm and loving towards and about myself for I am a unique and precious
ever doing the best my current awareness or what I know permits.”
Joseph W. Ferrara, EdD, LMHC


Moms and Dads, teachers, mental health counselors/psychotherapists, physicians and many others remark “a child can be inoculated against physical diseases like polio, tetanus and small pox”.  Wouldn’t it be great, wonderful if an inoculation could be developed against insecurity, humiliation, failure and unhappiness.  Over fifty (50) years of prodigious, biographical research and clinical practice as a psychologist treating patients in state psychiatric hospitals, schools for the mentally retarded, comprehensive community mental health centers/clinics, universities and now in private practice has yielded the one factor which is successful in actualizing a meaningful, fulfilling and happy life for us humans, i.e., a mood and attitude of mind or awareness called rational self-esteem and how rational self-esteem is built or structured, functions and is maintained.

Your personal, private and individual use of these copyrighted exercises extracted from the clinically tested and empirical research study “The ABC’s of Covert and Overt Self-Esteem, Our Self-Evaluative Mechanism” enables you to develop a rational self-esteem with self-direction, genuine tolerance, leadership skills, acceptance of uncertainty and interpersonal and social flexibility in establishing successful priorities, i.e., sound mental health.


1 An open, receptive and deliberating mind/awareness which will thoroughly and reflectively evaluate and rationally CHOOSE what you think, feel, say and do.
2 The following healthy and rational self-affirmations/beliefs
3 Your expanding, rational awareness
4 Your maturational and rational degrees of covert and overt self-esteem


1 To both recognize and accept “self”, its burgeoning value, worth, assurance, adequacy and mastery.
2 Learning the critical difference between a rational”self” and others.
3 Setting rational goals for self as meaningful direction setters for your fulfilling future.
4 Granting yourself the time and effort to achieve rational covert and overt self-esteem.


1 Self-Esteem:  Feeling warm and loving towards and about both our covert and overt selves for we are unique and precious beings, ever doing the best our current awareness or what we know permits.
a.   Covert Self-Esteem:  What we both think and feel towards and about ourselves internally.  It is that quiet and inward self-repeating voice or conversation we have with ourselves about our sense of self, i.e., our worth, value and importance–thinking, believing we are worthwhile and adequate with mastery over our lives.
b.   Overt Self-Esteem:  How we treat ourselves and others on interpersonal and social levels.  We can’t treat others any better than what we inwardly think and feel towards and about ourselves, i.e., as we treat ourselves, we will treat others in the same, exact manner.
2 Awareness:  The degree of clarity with which we perceive both consciously and unconsciously all the factors which affect our lives.


A rational covert and overt self-esteem is not in our inherited biological DNA.  We all have to learn what we think and feel or believe towards and about ourselves on conscious, subconscious and unconscious levels.  Our backgrounds or social DNA have exposed us to experiences which predispose our minds or awareness to constantly affirm or disparage ourselves by its use of both silent and audible affirmations/beliefs.  Healthy or unhealthy self-affirmations/beliefs create either healthy and integrated or unhealthy and fragmented covert and overt degrees of self-esteem with a state of awareness which determines our sense of human value, individual worth, belongingness/companionship and adequacy.  This, in turn, will generate a unitary self-concept or identity that dictates the CHOICES we make, setting in motion desirable or undesirable CONSEQUENCES we, our love ones and the world at large will have to cope with.  If intrigued and motivated:
  1. Write out and mentally visualize by group the following self-affirming concepts or beliefs on separate paper until that group becomes a reality for you, starting with the BASIC AFFIRMATION.
  2. Also, while privately standing in front of your mirror with clothes on or nude, audibilize each self-affirmation or beliefs observing your facial expression and body language of self-acceptance or self-rejection.
This procedure will trigger rational self-affirming mental images which generate healthy needs, thoughts, feelings, CHOICES and desirable CONSEQUENCES.  These wholesome self-affirmational images are directly transmitted into the neuron structure of the cells in the tissues of your brain.  Your brain then forms a memory of the images or self-concept which becomes a rational mental habit in your relationships with yourself and others, i.e., the human brain becomes a cogitating, insightful and rational human mind.

E. BASIC SELF-AFFIRMATION/BELIEF:   “I can accept myself, feeling warm and loving towards and about myself for I am a unique and precious being, ever doing the best my current awareness or what I know permits.”


Exercise Group 1.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I can be open and receptive to my rational awareness to be myself, i.e., to be me.
  • I will nurture rational self-esteem by learning of my love, acceptance and pride in me.
  • I am a significant and important part of the world at large.
  • I am acceptable, worthy and I belong.
  • I am a patient, kind and a good, intelligent worthwhile person.

Exercise Group 2.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I am cheerful, happy and optimistic.
  • I will succeed in mastering my thoughts, feelings and actions, which increases by self-acceptance, adequacy and mastery.
  • I am learning not to do anything today I will regret tomorrow.
  • I am intelligent, competent and able, making wise and rational choices.
  • Regardless of my background and awareness, I am responsible for the CONSEQUENCES which my CHOICES set in motion.

Exercise Group 3.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I am spontaneous, playful, imaginative and creative.
  • I make friends easily and people like me.
  • I am healthy, energetic, kind and strong.
  • I like to exercise my body as it houses my personhood, which allows me to express myself and obtain my goals.
  • I am not my body. My body is but the instrument through which I express myself in this physical phase of my existence.

Exercise Group 4.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I like being clean, organized and orderly.
  • I am peaceful, calm, relaxed and alert.
  • I am CHOOSING freedom, peace and contentment.
  • I am capable of personal growth and healthy change.
  • I am a loving, worthwhile and secure person regardless of my individual differences, acts and consequences.

Exercise Group 5.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I have healthy habits and wholesome relationships.
  • I do not compare my appearance, intelligence, personality, possessions or achievements with others as a gauge of my worth, adequacy and mastery.
  • I have no need to impress others to prove my worth and adequacy since my very existence proves my human value, worth and importance.
  • I give myself the right and freedom to make mistakes, to be wrong, defeated or fail without ridicule and humiliation.
  • I am not my actions. I am that which acts.  My actions are but the means my awareness or what I know CHOOSES to satisfy my current needs.

Exercise Group 6.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I am not my awareness. My awareness, or what I know, is the automatic product of my total life experiences which make up my background.
  • I like and accept myself unconditionally, i.e., without any condition.
  • I am a genuine success to the degree that I accept myself, feeling warm and loving towards and about myself.
  • It is becoming unacceptable to be less than all I can be.
  • I am learning not to procrastinate. I can do first things first and one thing at a time without worrying or fretting.

Exercise Group 7.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I no longer have a need to meet others’ wishes and desires for my self-acceptance.
  • Since my very existence proves my extraordinary worth and importance, I no longer fear others discovering my faults, failures or inadequacies and rejecting me.
  • I can successfully discipline and control myself in line with my life objectives.
  • I can tolerate and accept others without agreeing with or becoming upset by their undesirable moods, attitudes and actions.
  • I can make the most of every day in every way of my life.

Exercise Group 8.  Self-Affirmations:/Beliefs

  • I can be poised and comfortable among strangers as I am no longer needing their recognition, attention, acceptance and approval.
  • I am learning not to belittle my talents, possessions and achievements.
  • I can anticipate new endeavors with a quiet self-assurance and confidence.
  • I have no need to prove others wrong and less than to make myself right and better than.

Exercise Group 9.  Self-Affirmations:/Beliefs

  • I can let others be “wrong” without needing or attempting to correct them.
  • I am learning not to fear others’ insults, ridicule, pronouncements, condemnations, attitudes and opinions.
  • I am CHOOSING not to indulge in self-pity and sorrow or remorse.
  • I am becoming true to my own irrepressible needs, undistorted values and rational convictions.
  • I no longer depend on others’ attention, recognition, agreement or approval as a gauge of my worth, acceptance and adequacy or mastery.

Exercise Group 10.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I am learning not to require others’ permission and agreement to do as I see fit. I can be myself and cooperate with others.
  • I am discovering not to deny my needs, feelings, thoughts or opinions to please others. I can cooperate with others and still be myself.
  • I am able to take the initiative in personal contacts and social relationships.
  • I can accept every problem, conflict and goal as an intriguing challenge to my awareness—an opportunity for my personal growth and mastery.
  • I am CHOOSING not to condemn nor belittle myself for my mistakes, defeats or failures and shortcomings.

Exercise Group 11.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I can ACCEPT but do not AGREE with insults, condemnations, put downs, humiliations or belittlements.
  • I deserve to speak up and stand up for my own opinions, beliefs and convictions.
  • I am CHOOSING to think for myself, to speak and act with consideration, respect and deliberation.
  • I am not my intelligence or mind. My mind or awareness is but the human computer which receives, organizes and evaluates the data of my senses, experiences and intuition for my rational choices.
  • I am seeing no one can put themselves in another’s place as a valid point of reference, for no one else has the same background, level of awareness and degrees of covert and overt self-esteem.

Exercise Group 12.  Self-Affirmations/Beliefs:

  • I am discovering no one is more or less worthy or important than I am. We all have equal human value, worth, dignity and importance.
  • The meaning and purpose of my life is the expansion of my awareness or what I know. My acts and experiences are but a means to that end.  They no longer make me feel ashamed, guilty or less than.
  • I am becoming the most important, interesting and challenging person in my life as I live in the world at large.
  • I am doing the best my awareness or what I know dictates and permits me to do at the time.
  • Since I always benefit or suffer according to the CONSEQUENCES of my every CHOICE, I am accepting more authority and responsibility for everything I do.

G.  SELF-AFFIRMATION PROVERB:   “If” the above self-affirmations/beliefs were formulated into a proverb and true of US ALL right now, what do you suppose our CHOICES, life CONSEQUENCES and the world at large would be like?  Consider the following:

If there is rational covert and overt self-esteem in our personhood, there will be worth, dignity, truth, honesty and justice in our individual character.

If there is worth, dignity, truth, honesty and justice in our character, there will be insightful judgment, responsibility, acceptance and harmony in our home.

If there is insightful judgment, responsibility, acceptance and harmony in our home, there will be loving order, equality and justice in our nation.

If there is loving order, equality and justice in our nation, there will be love, acceptance, responsibility, security, equality, success, dignity, honor, freedom, peace, happiness and beauty in a just, honest and rational world.