Psychological Self-Help

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make you look bad, your early memories are likely to be humiliating
There are several ways to obtain the early memories. First, simplest of all,
just ask your self, "What is my earliest memory?" Second, since certain kinds
of memories are more helpful than others, more complex instructions might
be given, for example: 
What is the first thing you can remember...something before you were
eight, something that happened only once (or you can remember a particular
time this thing happened), something you remember very clearly yourself
(not something you have been told you did)? Write down your description.
When finished, be sure your feelings during the experience are clearly
expressed. Preferably, write down, in a similar way, three early memories. 
Examine your early memories by asking: Who is present... and who isn't?
What are the peoples' basic feelings? What is the world like? nice or hostile?
exciting or dull? What is your role or action? helpful or mean? strong or weak?
successful or failing? Do you feel alone or close to someone? What are you
feeling? happy or sad? calm or scared? proud or ashamed? What is your
motive? to help, to get attention, to exert power? What is the basic theme in
each memory? 
Finally, by analyzing your three memories, try to infer your original (at
age 2 to 5) self-concept, world image, view of others, your goals, your ways
of achieving those goals, your strengths, and your weaknesses. Then ask
yourself: Are these things still true of me? 
The next two approaches (third and fourth) are interesting; both attempt to tie the early 
recollection to the present.
Third, based on work by Willhite (1978), it is assumed that the sequence
of emotions in the early memory reflects the person's expectations about life-
-his/her emotional modus operandi. Thus, as illustrated below, every segment
of the earliest memory is numbered and written down (see column A).
Beneath each segment of the early memory, write down the primary
emotions actually experienced during that segment. In column B, write down
the activities and emotions you would have liked to have happened during
this segment of the early experience, i.e. your ideal experience. Finally, in
column C, using the same number of segments as in column A, describe your
actions and feelings in a current interpersonal problem. The Willhite method
(an example): 
Memory of what
Your ideal
Current problem
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