Last updated on 21st September 2010
I posted yesterday on the first, "Needs" section of the "Needs, beliefs, behaviours" diagram (below). Today I want to say a little about the second section of the diagram - "Beliefs".
As I said in the post on "Needs" yesterday, this is very much "attachment" territory. I've blogged fairly fully in the past on "Assessing attachment in adults", so please click through to this post to read about & download suitable questionnaires. Of course how we're treated as children will profoundly affect the beliefs we develop about ourselves and others. Both anxious and avoidant attachment styles are typically understandable responses to our early family (and school) environments. Attachment questionnaires can be very helpful, as too can assessing long term inner belief systems using a schema model - see the "Young, early maladaptive schemas" questionnaire described more fully down at the bottom of this website's page on "Emotions, feelings & personality".
It's been said that our self-esteem is the sum of how we feel we were valued by others in the past, how we feel we are valued now, and how we believe we'll be valued by others in the future. Assessing self-esteem then is also a window into our key belief systems. The Rosenberg self-esteem scale is probably the most widely used questionnaire here. It comes as both a "9 point version" and a "4 point version" - I personally prefer the greater spread of scores provided by the 9 point version. And finally in this quick glance at assessment of key inner beliefs, it's worth mentioning the blossoming literature on self-criticism and self-compassion. See this website's page on "Compassion & criticism" and the 12-item short form of the "Self-compassion scale".