The term self-esteem refers to our overall subjective emotional evaluation of our own worth – in other words, it’s your attitude towards yourself. Self-esteem begins to take shape in childhood and can be influenced by many factors, including early experiences at home or school, familial relationships, the media, your age and role in society and how people react to you. It is totally normal for your self-esteem to fluctuate – for example feeling down about yourself once in awhile. However, most individuals develop a baseline self-esteem that remains fairly constant over the course of their lifetimes. If you are struggling with low self-esteem, you likely spend significant time criticizing yourself and you may experience frequent feelings of shame and self-doubt. The good news is that, with work, you can change your baseline self-esteem. Therapy for self-esteem issues can help you work toward feeling confident, valuable, and worthy of respect. Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s self-esteem experts today.

Meet the specialists

If constant feelings of inadequacy and self-criticism are creeping in, it’s very difficult to feel any sense of self-confidence. Instead, feelings of defeat, loss of motivation, and lack of joy become the new reality. You can break free! What would life be like if you viewed your core self as unconditionally worthy of acceptance, compassion, and value? How do you think your life would change? Let’s start the journey together toward building a sense of self-esteem that truly enables you to thrive

— JaLeah Law, Clinical Psychologist in Milwaukee, WI

Self-esteem relates to how we think and feel about ourselves. Self-esteem can be affected by the messages we received about our worth and value from childhood and adolescence, a time in life when identity is being formed. Often times, we internalize and make conclusions about our worth very early on, which may not be a true and authentic reflection. Low self-esteem can look like constantly comparing yourself to others, imposter-syndrome, uncertainty about our identity, anxiety, and depression.

— Jacqueline Glosman, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in North Hollywood, CA

Living in a world that hasn't been made for most of us can lead to a lot of insecurities and negative self talk that can lead to anxiety and depression. My favorite work to do is to help people lift up the parts of themselves that they love and quiet the external noise that tells them that they are not good enough for whatever reason. These external noises can from from our families, our communities, society, social media, etc. All of my training over my career plays into this work.

— Mal Johnson, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

A lot of new clients will share on the intake call that they just want to like themselves. I get it. There are days when all of us feel like we are just propping ourselves up and trying to make it to the end of the day! For me, self-esteem is a root issue. How we feel about ourselves started way back in childhood based on how we were treated, how our emotions were attended to (or not) and whether our environment offered a safe place to process our experiences. Working with low self-esteem entails learning how you managed emotions and situations in the past when you didn't have as many resources as you do now as an adult. A lot of us go to perfectionism and people pleasing as a means of controlling the external environment once we are adults. We don't know how to take care of our emotional experiences. Most of us have a pretty harsh inner critic that comments on everything we do, say and feel. This only perpetuates perfectionism and people pleasing. Relaxing the critic is a first step in addressing self-esteem issues. Mindfulness is helpful as it gives us tools to notice how often our inner critic chimes in, as well as tools for self-compassion and eventually, self-acceptance. Its so easy to use the outside world to define your inside experience of yourself. Its encouraging to see clients begin to soften towards themselves, unburden themselves from outdated inner dialogue and let themselves be imperfect human beings.

— Vicki Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor in Atlanta, GA

I have worked with countless individuals whose lack of /low self esteem has kept them trapped in unhappy relationships, poor work environments, and inability to pursue their life's dreams. Together we will identify the negative thoughts, examine where they come from, and how you have been replaying this script throughout your life. In the final phase we will apply CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) to teach you how to challenge these negative thoughts patterns.

— Natasha Fortune, Counselor in Long Island City, NY

I have developed and led several therapy groups and workshops on the topic of mindful self-compassion, based on the research and work by Kristin Neff and Christopher Germer. My work as a whole focuses on helping clients overcome barriers to self-acceptance. If you are tired of constant self-criticism, feel perfectionism is getting in the way, or just wish you felt more confident and at peace, I may be the right therapist for you.

— Kami Sidman, Licensed Professional Counselor in Arlington, VA

Low self-esteem is born of a lack of self-love. I have worked with clients for nearly a decade to build a foundation of self that is based on love and acceptance.

— Rachel Astarte, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Nyack, NY

On the outside it seems like you have everything going for you, yet you find it hard to feel proud and confident of what you've done. The voice in your head keeps telling you you're not good enough, that you don't deserve where you are, and all the things wrong with you. It can be really easy to put yourself last, and feel guilty when you decide to be first. I want to help you build up your confidence and talk back to that inner voice so that you can see that you deserve better.

— Francesca Parker, Therapist

Things knock us down. We can end up feeling like we aren’t worth anything without even realizing we think this about ourself! I can help in locating self defeating thought processes and in creating healthy ones.

— Regina Francis, Clinical Social Worker in Layton, UT

For many years I've been helping my clients on improving their self-worth, self-value, self-image and self-acceptance. I believe most of us at some point in our lives struggles with self-esteem issues. I've had extensive training and clinical experience on treating self-esteem problems. I believe a healthy self-esteem is essential for all of us to achieve healthy relationships, successful career and enjoy life in all aspects.

— MURIELL CARLISLE, Counselor in Miami, FL

Living in this world can take a toll on your sense of self, your self love, and your self-esteem. When you come into my office, I seek to understand which forms of oppression have impacted you most so that we can contradict harmful systemic messaging that has taken away some of your sense of self-wonder and reintroduce you to your own inherent majesty.

— Sam Krehel, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

You might tend to fault yourself for your difficulties in life. Perhaps you doubt whether you even deserve to be happy. We can often be our own worst enemies and toughest critics. Sometimes that voice in our head can be down right abusive. Difficulties related to shame, self-criticism, and low self-worth are often at the root of issues like depression, anxieties, and other struggles with unwanted emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

— Ida Hammer, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Self esteem is essentially how we relate to ourselves and our world. It’s how we value ourselves, it’s a basis for our thoughts and behaviors, our attitudes and relationships. It’s where our self worth resides. We need self esteem to feel effective in managing our lives. Self esteem is self-empowering.

— Anne Rodic, Counselor in Pittsford, NY

We are bombarded with messages and stories about ourselves. I know how to help you listen to your own story and find out what is actually true about yourself. We are given one life and you are in charge of yours. I can help you walk through the world with more ease.

— Nicole Nemiroff, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Santa Cruz, CA

How we see ourselves shapes the way how others see us. Our relationship with ourselves is the most important of all. Yet some of us struggle to put ourselves first or to justify that we deserve the best. Sitting down to really unpack what is standing in our way is key to increasing low self - esteem.

— Loveroop Bath, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Richland, WA

I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy interventions to evaluate beliefs about ourselves that have developed throughout our lives. I also often incorporate aspects of work around shame, vulnerability, and authenticity through Brene Brown's work.

— Jessica Bell, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Jacksonville, FL

We don't come into this world questioning our self-worth, and yet many of us begin to question this at some point in our lives. The source of our doubt may stem from family, peers, society, the media, religious doctrine, past traumatic experiences, or all of the above. Regardless of where this doubt comes from, it can feel as if it originated from within us. We begin to wonder if (or even believe that) we really are inferior or less than other people. I help people work through

— Courtney Shen DeShetler, Psychologist

(Self) -(confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect) aka "esteem." Often gaining self-esteem or confidence in oneself is about a journey to find strengths and attributes we didn’t know we had. As a strength-based therapist I find this to be a very important step in growth.

— Katie Wild, Mental Health Counselor in , WA

Our self-esteem is the deciding factor to our achieving sustainable contentment. It impacts every corner of our lives, how we feel in our bodies and amongst others. Everyone deserves esteem but often people feel lost as to how to esteem themselves effectively. Together we work to learn proper ways of esteeming ourselves, as well to uncover and heal all that blocks esteem.

— rachel khints, Counselor in New York, NY

Self-esteem is how you value yourself. Your self-esteem can affect various things such as how you think, how you feel, how you relate to others, how you make decisions, and how you deal with challenges. The beliefs you have about yourself are initially developed in childhood but they are subsequently formed by various experiences at home, school, work, and in the community. The messages you received directly from numerous people and the perceptions you create from different circumstances Self-esteem is affected by the thoughts and feelings that you felt at the time and have carried with you. Self-esteem is not directly connected to your actual ability or talent. It is also possible for your self-esteem to fluctuate depending on the circumstance. Furthermore, your self-esteem may not be aligned with other people's perceptions of who you are. Feeling inadequate or not good enough is a difficult thought and emotion to have but it is quite possible to raise your self-esteem. In therapy, you will learn the following skills: Identify triggers to your low self-esteem Determine your self-defeating patterns Ways to not personalize comments and behaviors Change your internal dialogue Practice self-care

— Eri Nakagami, Clinical Social Worker in Oakland, CA

We have a self-esteem issue in America. There are so many things in our culture that teach us to be unkind to ourselves. We often say things to ourselves that are so mean, we wouldn't dream of saying them to others. I help my clients identify and overcome all the forces throughout their life that have taught them to dislike who they are, and discover what makes them valuable.

— Zach Leezer, Clinical Social Worker in Chicago, IL

Self Esteem is about how you talk to yourself, about yourself. How do you talk to yourself? I can provide tools to help you increase your self esteem and confidence from within. I’m living proof that it’s possible. I have also worked with many teenagers and women to help empower their inner voice.

— Amanda Rosentel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Wilkes Barre, PA

The quality of our relationships are directly impacted by how we relate to ourselves. The most important relationship is with you. In therapy you will be able to express yourself, to understand who you are, why you feel the way you do, and who you want to be. We will discuss your values, your spiritual beliefs/practices, and get in touch with your inner wisdom to strengthen, heal and improve the relationship with yourself.

— Rachel Koutnik, Social Worker in Culver City, California, CA

Self-esteem is often wrapped up with how we view others and how we allow them to dictate our inner world. It is important to have a safe space where you can explore who you are and learn how to improve your sense of self, so you can live an empowered life.

— heidi hewett, Mental Health Counselor in Athens, GA

To improve self-esteem, I will help you learn how to trust your gut and really pay attention to what is happening inside of you. Our intuition is often referred to as our “inner voice” most commonly known as a gut feeling. Body Psychotherapy & Embodied Spirituality utilize the body as a compass along with visualization and mindfulness, to create healthy boundaries in your relationships, so that you have space to manifest how you want to be in the world, and heal negative thinking patterns.

— Lina Návar, Psychotherapist in Austin, TX

In working with my clients on low self-esteem and self-worth, I often utilize EMDR, mindfulness techniques, behavior modification, and insight-focused talk therapy. My certification in the Daring Way also provides me tools to assist clients in working through experiences of shame, often associated with low self-esteem. I help my clients to get in touch with their inherent goodness and work through past experiences that have threatened their positive sense of self.

— Caitlin Payne, Therapist in Houston, TX