A 28 year old young man came to me for therapy for anxiety. He graduated the University of Florida in engineering, but could only find a job in sales. He reported that he was an introvert, hated his job, and was a “failure at asking for help,” so he felt stuck and very anxious. I taught him meditation, relaxation strategies, and CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) for anxiety. Needless to say, his self-esteem was in the toilet. If he had been depressed and anxious in the beginning, he was even more so once he lost his job (the next time I saw him he had been fired). I suggested he take the SOI Career Test on the computer.
His comprehension, memory, and problem-solving were at the “exceptional” level. Even his decision-making (evaluation) was high average. He was stunned! In fact, 16 of his SOI abilities were at the gifted level. His career choices were so beneath his ability – such as flight attendant. Accountant, computer programmer, and engineer came out the highest.
We discussed applications of his great abilities. I suggested cyber security or hydro engineering (we live in California – water is more important than gold). He resisted. He thought he could “only be an Uber driver.” His self esteem was so beaten up. He took a week to think about the results of the SOI test.
When he returned to therapy the next week, he said: “I’ve got my Mojo back! I registered for a Master’s program in hydrology!! I even quit my Uber job. I calculated my earnings: $9.32 an hour! I quit! I don’t even need therapy; I just need to go forward, confront my fears, and do what I love!”
It’s amazing what the bar graph of trigraphs can actually do for a person’s self-esteem!
written by: Valerie Maxwell, Ph.D., Psychologist
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