Therapy for Self-Esteem
Developing self-compassion for mental wellbeing
Some days you feel confident and capable, but most days, you're clouded by pervasive self-doubt
You may have noticed that you're constantly criticizing and questioning your efforts, your value, and your self-worth. Your relationships with family and friends may be suffering, and because it's so difficult to talk about, you feel alone, angry, frustrated, and sad. You can't remember the last time you felt unwavering confidence and joy. Even though you have tried to change in ways that would allow you to feel healthier and happier, the lingering feeling of not being "good enough" just won't go away. If any of this resonates, you may be struggling with your self-esteem.
What is Self-Esteem?
Self-esteem refers to how you view yourself and the value that you place on yourself as an individual. It is based on an evaluation of various aspects of your person, including your abilities, actions, limitations, and appearance (unfortunate but true in modern Western culture). Although the word 'self' in self-esteem implies that it is intrinsic (within yourself), people often seek validation extrinsically (outside yourself), too - whether it be for reassurance, approval (fear of disapproval and rejection), or acceptance from others - which can be very problematic. When our interpretation of ourselves is based on other people's judgments and perceptions and/or is primarily influenced by our achievements, we can start to feel disconnected from ourselves, questioning who we really are, what we like, and what we actually feel and think.
How do I know if I have low self-esteem?
While feeling uncertain about oneself or having a lack of self-confidence every now and then is normal, pervasive negative self-perception may be an indication of deeper issues. If you find that you're constantly struggling with the following issues on a regular basis, you might have low self-esteem:
negative social comparison
difficulty expressing your needs and setting boundaries
feelings of guilt and worthlessness
What causes low self-esteem?
Self-esteem is linked to the beliefs we hold about ourselves through our life experiences from early childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. Negative or traumatic life experiences can contribute to altered views of yourself. Low self-esteem can also be a by-product of depression or current life circumstances such as financial hardship, persistent illness, relationship issues, or other life factors adversely impacting your overall life satisfaction.
How I Can Support You:
My approach to working on self-esteem is rooted in self-awareness and self-compassion practices. Although self-compassion may seem familiar to self-esteem, the latter is based on our perceived value whereas the former is rooted in the belief that we are all worthy of self-kindness, self-understanding, self-forgiveness, self-love, self-respect, and self-acceptance as human beings - not because of our latest achievement, or our characteristics and special traits. Whereas self-esteem may fluctuate with current life happenings, self-compassion is always available to you.
In our work together, we will focus more on helping you develop self-compassion than on improving self-esteem. Together we'll work on:
Increasing Insight and Awareness
Through an exploration of past and present life experiences that have contributed/are contributing to the beliefs you hold about yourself.
Learning to Embrace and Relate to Yourself Kindly
Through the development of practical skills and tools to challenge your inner critic, align with self-kindness versus self-judgment, and embrace the gift of imperfection.