The desire to build stronger self-esteem is one of the underlying issues that brings people into therapy. If your self-esteem is low, you can end up being hard on yourself, you blame yourself for things that aren’t your fault, and this can lead to low mood and feelings of worthlessness. With higher self-esteem, you feel more confident and have more emotional resilience to cope with what life throws at you, and your relationships are a lot healthier.
How can counselling help you build your self-esteem?
If you’re curious about how counselling can help you, here two of our therapists in the low-cost counselling service at our Tooting centre, Emma Myrtle and Trinity Orr-Mapp, outline how they work with clients to improve low self-esteem…
Self-esteem is made up of the thoughts, feelings, and opinions we have about ourselves. That means self-esteem isn’t fixed – and so therefore it can change. It can be difficult to break habits but there are steps you can take to feel better about yourself, bit by bit.
Firstly, I work with you to identify the sources of your low self-esteem, any negative thought patterns you have and where they started from. Taking an objective view of personal history can help you see your present situation more clearly without feeling blamed. You can also see if early patterns and habits are repeated in your current relationships.
I use CBT and mindfulness techniques to improve awareness of your inner critic, and any negative self-beliefs and behavioural patterns attached to this. By becoming aware you can begin to change your thoughts and feelings into more positive ones, as well as working towards confidence and self-love.
Tasks to improve self-esteem:
- Write a list of what you like about yourself.
- Connect with people who make you feel good.
- Accept compliments.
- Stop comparing yourself to others.
- Make a self-esteem collage.
- Reinforce a good self-image with affirmations.
- Replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
I help you to set boundaries, as often people with low self-esteem find it hard to say ‘no’. I will also spend time working with positive thoughts, and inviting you to do some tasks to improve self-esteem. Emma Myrtle
I take the approach that low-self-esteem can often have its roots in a difficult childhood. I work with you to explore the origins of your low self-esteem, including taking a family history, discussing your life in school, any childhood experiences impacting on how you feel about yourself today, as well as your relationship history.
I will also explore with you how you view yourself, especially if you have any negative self-beliefs. We will look at how your negative thoughts affect how you feel, and the choices you make as a result. Knowing what your patterns are, and how your past may be impacting on you today, can help you begin to make different choices.
Ways the counselling process can help to promote healthy self-esteem include:
- Looking at helpful techniques to reduce self-criticism.
- Supporting you to build a more accepting and nurturing attitude towards yourself.
- Looking at the ‘false self’ you may have created to survive in the world, and to help you to begin to connect with your true self.
- Exploring any feelings associated with low- self-esteem, such as anxiety, anger or depression, so those feelings become less overwhelming.
- Empowering you to reconstruct your confidence in small but significant ways.
- Working up to tackling things you may have previously avoided because of your low self-esteem.
We go at your own pace. I support you in building your self-esteem so you can make changes when you feel ready. Trinity Orr-Mapp
If you’re thinking of seeing a therapist to support you in building your self-esteem, call 020 8673 4545 or email [email protected]. At our Tooting centre we are currently offering your first 12 sessions at £10 a session if you’re on benefits, or £25 per session if you’re on a low income.