What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem is the degree to which we feel worthy, valuable, and confident. Our beliefs and feelings about ourselves greatly affect our well-being and social interactions. Low self-esteem is associated with feelings of self-criticism, self-doubt, shame, social isolation, and suppressed anger.
Self-esteem is learned through our life-experiences, often going back to childhood. There are many factors that can negatively impact self-esteem development, including:
- Criticism or abuse from parents/caretakers and siblings
- Shame around sexuality and gender
- Receiving little or no positive reinforcement for accomplishments
- Having a learning disability that is stigmatized
- Mental illness
- Financial struggles
- Relationship struggles
- And more __________________________________
Even adults with a healthy self-esteem can develop low self-esteem when they are faced with sudden life challenges they perceive as failures, such as legal or financial troubles, divorce, losing a job, and struggling with addictions.
How Psychotherapy Can Help
At any point in our lives, when events might cause us to question our worth or value, therapy can help us gain perspective. I have first-hand experience with this. Getting support from my counselor helped me see myself for who I really am. This experience of getting the right support is what helped me get unstuck from a life of low self-worth. My work in therapy helped me become more self-aware, confident, and assertive.
Feelings of Accomplishment
One of the biggest boosts to self-esteem comes from a feeling of accomplishment. A professional therapist can help you identify specific activities that can lead to personal and professional accomplishments, which can turn into a strong confidence boost.
In addition, therapists can help you develop self-compassion, so you may treat yourself with the same kindness and encouragement as you treat others.
Goal Directed Therapy
It is common for therapists to use goal-directed therapy with people struggling with low self-esteem. Solution-focused and cognitive behavioral therapies tend to work best. Some therapists will also try animal assisted therapy, which can be incredibly effective in younger clients or those suffering as a result of a physical impairment.
When your self-esteem suffers, your quality of life does as well. Seeking treatment from a professional therapist is a great way to gain perspective and confidence, and acquire new habits based in self-love and self-compassion. Breaking self-destructive patterns will require proven tools and protocols that a professional therapist can offer.
If you are living with low self-esteem and negative self-talk and criticism, counselling therapy may be what you’ve been looking for.
Interested in exploring treatment? Please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.
Would love to hear from you even if you’re not ready to make a committment to an appointment. Feel free to call or email me today to request a FREE 15-minute phone or video consultation.