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TEA System

The TEA System of Recovery

Section 2: Tools for Recovery

from Low Self-Esteem
Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous -

The SEA's Program of Recovery
By: James J. Messina, Ph.D.

When you are in recovery from the behavioral consequences of low self-esteem, the Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous Program's tools for recovery are based on the SEA's TEA System:

T  Thoughts
E  Emotions
A  Actions   


T   Thoughts
First, you need to analyze your thoughts about your life and identify all irrational and unrealistic beliefs, thinking, or ideas which are at the root of your low self-esteem and problems in your life. Once you have identified the "sick'' thoughts, then you need to replace them with healthier, more rational, and realistic thinking, beliefs and ideas. It is at this point that you begin to develop daily self-affirmations which encourage you on the road to recovery from low self-esteem.

E - Emotions
Second, after your thoughts have become healthier, more rational, and realistic, you then need to identify all of your "sick'' emotions and feelings which were based on your old ``sick'' thoughts and then integrate your "new'' healthier thoughts with your emotions and feelings. That way you have healthier, more rational and realistic emotional and feeling responses to your life and you begin to feel better about yourself and your ability to handle your own problems. It is at this point that you work at incorporating the self-affirmations you have been telling yourself and experience feelings of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-deservedness. 

A - Actions
Third, only after you have altered your “sick” thoughts and “sick” emotions can you change your “sick” actions and behaviors. Once you have developed a healthier, more rational, and realistic thinking and emotional life, you can take actions and exhibit behaviors which are healthier, more rational and realistic and result in improved self-esteem and healthier life coping.

WARNING: You cannot change your actions or behaviors before you have changed your emotional and feeling responses to life. When people change their actions because it is the “correct” thing to do without feelings which go along with them, then their recovery falls flat and dies. You need to change your thoughts and emotions before your actions become “authentic” and have greater “staying” power.