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December 17, 2018

CAVER

A New Approach to the Treatment of Imposter Syndrome

"CAVER" stands for "compassion, authenticity, vulnerability, empowerment and resilience." It's a new model for the treatment of Imposter Syndrome, a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".

This phenomenon inspired research in the 1980s by Rosemary Clance, and has been referenced by Einstein, Edith Wharton, Tina Fey, and, most recently, by Michelle Obama in a December 4 interview with the BBC.

Mirasol Executive Director Diane Ryan and Clinical Director Tanya Lauer addressed the topic in their presentation at the 2018 International Conference for the Association of Experiential Education entitled, "Imposter syndrome: The Art of Self-Disclosure and the Power of Story". Says Ryan, "Our primary purpose was to provide attendees with real-life solutions to this debilitating condition that interferes with the full expression of personal and professional potential, saps joy and accelerates burnout."

The model creates a structure for addressing and repairing Imposter Syndrome by encouraging compassion for the self, the process, and others. Showing up authentically demands that both our accomplishments and flaws be considered with grace and acceptance. This allows for the vulnerability that promotes creativity and exploration. Empowerment sets the stage for courage and novel approaches as well as effective sharing of ideas and expression of leadership, and resilience is the basis of the model, providing safety, stability and flexibility as the individual expands and faces challenges.

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