Tips on Becoming Empowered


Recently I was asked to discuss ways in which women can be empowered. I thought about my own process, and the work I do with people who do not own the confidence and self-respect that is needed to be empowered.

This quote from Goethe rings so true. “As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live.”

Since we are the ones who create our lives, look at the world and relationships in our own way, we need to be healthy, emotionally and psychologically.

The first step is to truly know ourselves. We need the courage to engage with a well-seasoned therapist who can take you on an inner journey to discover the essence of who you are. Together you can uncover that which is hidden from your awareness, the aspects of you that have been wounded, carry anger, shame…

In my more than three decades as a psychotherapist specializing in trauma and relationships, in almost every situation, we are unearthing and healing the damage to the self, left by unloving, neglectful, abusive parenting and pain that lives beneath the surface from traumas inflicted on us or witnessed by us.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is my therapy process of choice. I integrate the process with the work that I do, as an effective, efficient treatment for those deep wounds which effect self-esteem and self-respect.

These are some things that can get you started on your journey to empowerment.

List your values.

List your positives and negatives and what you would like to change about yourself.

See that you have balance in your life.

Eat right, exercise, play, study about something you find interesting, work at your job as if it is an expression of your commitment to quality performance.

See that the physical self you show to the world looks like you respect yourself.

Change your negative thinking to a positive outlook. Be aware of your language and see that it reflects positivity.

Show an interest in others. Volunteer. Giving feels good.

Take a leadership course.

Start your day with a positive mantra that you repeat out loud standing in a power position – arms outstretched. Say your words with conviction. “I am creating a wonderful life.” (whatever fits for your vision.) Do it for a minute and repeat it before you go to bed. You are changing the “hard wiring” of negativity. That takes time.

Another pose is hands on your hips. If you are walking into a meeting or a difficult situation, do that and smile. Smiles are powerful boosts to your mood.

It is worth your time and money to find a good therapist and heal that which keeps you from living a full and empowered life. Go for it.

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About Paula Susan

Paula Susan, MSW, LCSW, Masters in Clinical Social Work & Psychology; specialist in Trauma and Relationships since 1982. In 1991, I integrated the powerfully transformative process of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). Research demonstrates that it facilitates life-altering changes more efficiently and effectively than talk therapy alone. I teach skills such as communication and anxiety relief to improve connection with others. Over the decades, I’ve come to respect how much damage even small traumatic experiences inflict on our core beliefs about ourselves and the world around us. I consider it a privilege to help my clients understand and change what has undermined their happiness and their relationships. I do it with warmth, integrity, humor, and profound respect for those who care about the quality of this small piece of time we have on

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