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Counselling for Low Self Esteem
Low self-esteem is at the root of many of our problems. It can sabotage relationships and careers, cause self- destructive behaviours and hold us back from achieving our full potential. It is a key feature of many mental health problems including depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
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Who is it for?
Do you lack belief in your personal value/worth? Are you very critical of yourself? Do you compare yourself negatively with others? Do you blame yourself when something goes wrong and attribute good fortune to external influences (i.e. not to yourself)? Do you expect others to dislike and criticise you? Do you hear criticism from others when this is not the message that is being conveyed? Are you drawn to people who mistreat you? Do you set very high standards for yourself to try and improve how you feel about yourself?
A Recent Testimonial
Clare - Clapham“You’ve been there with me right in my darkest times – I’ve been more vulnerable with you than anyone in my life and shared all of my darkest fears. What you do for people who are struggling is such a great thing………So from the bottom of my heart – thank you! You’ve helped me to change everything I attract in my life, the way I think, the way I will one day parent and the path that now lies in front of me. In one way you could say that your impact will be seen for generations to come”.
How It Works?
The first step will be to discuss with one of our Psychologists the beliefs that you hold about yourself, how these effect how you feel and the choices that you make. Your Psychologist may also ask you about your relationships as we tend to be drawn to people who treat us like we treat ourselves.
Once your Psychologist has a clear idea of your self-esteem and its impact on your life they will teach you techniques to reduce self-criticism and doubt and help you to build a more accepting and nurturing attitude towards yourself.
In parallel to this your Psychologist will help you to resolve any feelings of anxiety, anger or depression associated with your low self-esteem.
You will then work with your Psychologist to reconstruct your confidence and begin tackling things that you have previously avoided due to expectations of failure.
Finally, your Psychologist will help you to understand the origins of your low self-esteem, resolve negative feelings about these and move forwards from these with acceptance.
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All of our Psychologists offer counselling for Low Self Esteem, click here to view the team.
What causes Low Self Esteem?
The origins of low self-esteem lie in childhood where one or more of the following experiences lead to beliefs of worthlessness or defectiveness:
- Not having basic needs adequately met especially if others are receiving much better love, care and sustenance.
- Having feelings persistently ignored or denied.
- Being put-down, ridiculed or humiliated.
- Being required to assume a ‘false self’ in order to impress others or get needs met.
- Being forced to engage in unsuitable activities especially if there is a high chance that they will not be done well as a result of little aptitude.
- Being compared unfavourably to others.
- Being given the impression that personal views or opinions are insignificant.
- Being deprived of a reasonable explanation (e.g. “…because I say so”).
- Being given a label that devalues individuality (e.g. “You girls are all the same”).
- Being overprotected especially if this gives the impression that a child is weak or incapable.
- Being over punished.
- Being given too few rules and guidelines especially if this leads to the child making numerous avoidable mistakes.
- Being on the receiving end of inconsistent behaviour especially if this is in a relationship with people who are responsible for the child’s security.
- Being threatened with or receiving physical violence.
- Being subjected to inappropriate sexual innuendo or contact.
- Being blamed for leading a loved or respected person astray.
- Being over-fed a diet or unachievable ideals.
Once established (usually in the first 5 -10 years of life) beliefs about worthlessness or defectiveness then effect how subsequent experiences are processed. Evidence that supports a belief in low self-worth/value is quickly processed and held at the forefront of the mind so that it can be reviewed and revisited on a regular basis further depreciating a person sense of their own value. Evidence that contradicts these beliefs and has the power to reverse self-doubt is ignored or dismissed as an exception ensuring that low self-esteem is maintained.
Should you wish to find out more about Low Self Esteem then you can check out our low self esteem related blog articles here.