15 Feb

Often, within the first few sessions I am working with someone, I suggest they Google "Wellness Wheels" and look for one that makes sense to them. I found this one through a Google search and find it generic enough to start:

My instructions are simple: You are in the center of the wheel, around you are many different aspects of your life. Review them and briefly think of one, two, three or more things fit in to that part of your life. Jot them down in each area and then go back and put a + or a - next to that word, depending on whether you consider it a strength in your life right now or not. If it is something that brings you joy, if it is something that you can depend on or you look forward to, then it is a positive (+).

On the other hand, if it is something that does not bring you joy. If it is something that creates stress, you do not look forward to, or perhaps it is something that you would like to improve or work on, then give it a minus (-).

Here is a simple example: For the category "Physical:" this could mean many different things. How do I currently feel about my personal appearance? If I'm overall satisfied, my clothes fit and I feel pretty good, then that's a +.  However, I stopped going to the gym several months ago and I've been so busy I haven't even had time to go for a daily walk. These are things I'd like to improve. So I write down "exercise" and I give it a -. Sleep is another thing I would like to consistently get more of, so that's another -. My eating habits? As it turns to Spring, I think back to all the time indoors and nibbling on a snack when I was bored, possibly having a few extra bites of dessert, and with two young boys, I am constantly finishing the food they don't eat after dinner because I don't want it to go to waste. As for my nutrition and diet, I give that two --.

Filling out the wheel is a very helpful tool I use with my clients. It helps to organize thoughts and once we can determine what area(s) are positive and what area(s) are negative, we can then prioritize what we want to focus on in goal setting and treatment planning. 

Go ahead, give it a try. Hopefully you will recognize you have more strengths than you thought you did. Perhaps you may want to focus on those strengths as part of your daily plan. 

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