Who are the people you turn to when you need understanding, honest feedback, encouragement, support, or assistance of any kind? This might include family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and professionals who provide special services.

Consider these people as your personal support system. Picture them in your mind's eye and experience the feelings you have about them. Contemplate how each of these people contribute to your life. Also picture the ways in which you support them.

Draw a picture with yourself in the center and the members of your personal support group around you. Next to each person, write in how he or she supports you.

Examine your picture. If you feel a need to strengthen your support system, write down any changes you want to make. Implement these in your everyday life.

Contemplate an "ideal" support network. How does it look? How does it feel to have all the support you need? Draw a picture of your "ideal" support system and then write about it.

Benefits: This is a highly effective means for doing an inventory of personal needs and resources. If your assessment shows that you depend too much on one or two individuals, you may decide to broaden your base of support. Reaching out for assistance when you need it can be extremely empowering. It helps you nourish yourself and build bridges between yourself and others.

Personal Support System







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