Therapy for Self-Esteem

banner image

You’re tired of beating yourself up all the time.

It feels like you’re in a different world than other people. The negative thoughts about yourself make you feel lonely, sad, and angry with yourself…Questions like “why can’t I just get over these feelings?” or “What is wrong with me?” are all too familiar.

You feel disconnected from your friends and family because you’re stuck in your head so much….And that place is not a fun place to be a lot of times. It’s filled with self-critical thoughts like “I’m such a screw up” or “I’m so stupid I can’t believe I did that.” Or maybe you have regrets about past decisions you’ve made and can’t seem to forgive yourself because you “should’ve just known better.”

Even though you’re doing fine on the outside, your work life is going well and people seem to think you have it together, inside there’s a tornado of thoughts that you just can’t seem to shake. You’ve been dealing with low self-esteem for so long that you’ve gotten really good at faking confidence. You’re an expert at bottling up your feelings.  You want so badly for your outside perception to match how you feel on the inside. Even though you know that your problems probably stem from some childhood “stuff” it’s still hard to give yourself permission to feel things that are completely normal to feel. 

You may feel like your self-esteem issues have gotten in the way of deeply connecting with friends, family, or your romantic partner. This disconnect makes you feel lonely and increases your frustration with yourself. Maybe you’ve been able to fake confidence for so long that you’ve managed to hide your self-esteem issues from those around you or maybe they have actually gotten in the way of your relationships or your work performance. Of course then you beat yourself up even more by shaming yourself for your self-esteem issues…It’s a vicious cycle that you just want to stop.

How therapy for self-esteem works

Imagine waking up in the morning excited to start your day because you’re not plagued with thoughts of how much of a screw up you are. 

  • You have so much more headspace to think about the things that truly matter to you like your relationships and your family. 
  • You feel motivated to do things that  will bring you joy and help you in the long run instead of feeling a sense of apathy towards things you know you “should” be doing.” 
  • In your relationships you feel so much closer and are able to talk about your feelings openly without feeling nervous or worried that they won’t understand. Because you’re more open to yourself you don’t bottle your feelings up and are able to communicate from a place of compassion rather than a place of resentment. 
  • At work you feel more competent and confident that you do know what you’re doing and are able to take constructive feedback better because you have a sense of confidence you never used to have. 

Together, we’ll start looking at where your low self-esteem comes from. From my experience it’s usually rooted in some childhood experiences because that’s when we develop our sense of self and develop beliefs about ourselves. Many times people feel like the way we relate to ourselves is fixed, just “the way we are.” But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. The truth is you have learned to be critical of yourself from direct or indirect messaging we’ve received through our lives. The good news is you can also unlearn those patterns and become more self-compassionate. 

The point of practicing self-compassion isn’t just to be nicer to ourselves. Although that’s a big perk of it, the goal of this practice is to be able to understand ourselves from an objective lens, not one that is shaded by negative beliefs about ourselves. What this does is allow for self-forgiveness for past mistakes, an ability to honestly look at how we may be contributing to the problems that keep us stuck in life. Whether that be in your relationship, work life, or goals we want to achieve.

Therapy For Self-Esteem Can Help you:

  • Feel more confident in yourself
  • Gain insight into where your problems stem from
  • Improve communication in your relationships
  • Motivate you to achieve goals 
  • Learn to trust yourself more
  • Increase compassion towards others while setting healthy boundaries for yourself
  • Forgive yourself for past mistakes

It’s possible to feel less self-critical and be more confident

What is Self-Esteem and How Is it Important?

Self-esteem refers to the overall subjective evaluation and perception of your own worth, value, and capabilities. It represents the extent to which you like and respect yourself. Self-esteem encompasses your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs about your own abilities, appearance, and the kind of person you are. Our self-esteem is important because it often dictates our emotions and is at the root of other mental health concerns like anxiety and depression. Low self-esteem can also impact our relationships with others.

Are there any books, resources, or exercises you recommend for improving self-esteem outside of therapy sessions?

Much of my work is inspired by Dr. Kristin Neff, a psychologist who pioneered the research on self-compassion. I recommend her book "Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself." I also recommend Gabor Mate's work on Compassion.

How long does it typically take to see improvements in self-esteem through therapy?

The timeline for seeing improvements in self-esteem through therapy can vary widely from person to person. It depends on several factors, including the individual's unique circumstances, the severity of self-esteem issues, complexity of underlying issues, and the individual's level of commitment and engagement in the therapeutic process.

Frequently Asked Questions