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

Throughout my years as a therapist, I've come to realize more and more the role that shame and low self-esteem play in my clients' lives. These things run deep and seem to be some of the hardest things to face and to deal with, especially for abuse survivors. I feel that my creative way of working is very beneficial for making these issues feel easier to explore in therapy, and the EMDR therapy that I provide is also helpful for them.

— Krista Verrastro, Creative Art Therapist in Reisterstown, MD

"I just don't like myself," "I can't do anything right," "I'm trash," "I am not _____ enough"..... I call these the voices of our Inner Critic. We all have one, and it can sometimes be pretty brutal. I love working with people who want to dive into their Inner Critic - we first explore to gain a clear understanding of where this came from and why its still here, and then we utilize the strategies of self-compassion to shift the narrative.

— Adam Cohen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Womxn face complex and systemic forms of oppression that impact our security in who we are and who we can be. I enjoy creating an environment to engage those factors and unpack them to enable women to step into their lives more bravely, body, mind and soul.

— Whitney Losee, Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

We are not broken, needing to be fix. We are wounded, needing to be healed.

— Dr. Isabell Springer, Marriage & Family Therapist in Los Angles, CA

It's amazing how much we are impacted by our lack of self-esteem & confidence. We're often our own worst enemies, which tends to stem from our past. We carry shame, guilt, & often have such negative self-talk as a result of our own histories and expereinces. These issues can affect a person's ability to function on a daily basis & build healthy relationships. I have significant experience helping people identify these negative core beliefs & build their self-esteem & confidence.

— Karla Kurtz, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Everett, WA

People who say they have an issue with self-esteem, really have an issue with learning. At some point, someone told them something negative, and it was repeated until it was believed. The goal of working with low or problematic self-esteem is to extinguish that conditioned thought pattern that you have about yourself.

— Willard Vaughn, Licensed Professional Counselor in , VA

In the past, if you looked up low self-esteem in the dictionary you would've seen my picture but not today! Signs: Feeling unworthy to take up space in this world, not speaking up for fear of looking stupid, not trying out for something for fear of rejection, not really knowing who you are or what you like (maybe even adapting to be like those around you), always thinking you are going to get dumped, worried that if people knew the "real" you they wouldn't like you, feeling like a fraud, etc.

— Patti Sabla, Therapist in Orange City, FL

Are you your own worst critic? Do you feel that you can never be good enough? Those feelings come from the constant barrage of messages from family, friends, and media that tell us how we should be, or how we fall short of someone else’s expectations. And then we repeat those messages over and over in our minds until we fully believe them. But these messages aren’t truth. The authentic You has been buried under all this pile of accusations and disappointments. I will work with you to help reclaim your real identity and rewrite the story that you play in your thoughts. I have had clients who now walk through life proud of who they are, confident in what they bring, and excited with where they are going. I would love to work with you to see how far you can go.

— Jaclin Belabri, Counselor in Vancouver, WA

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

It can be hard to recover from feeling like you're not good enough. Criticism from others or yourself can impact how you feel about yourself and make it tough to really follow through with self-care. I'm passionate about helping people recover their self-esteem and sense of worthiness. Let's work together to help you see yourself more clearly.

— Jessica Weikers, Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Through a combination of play therapy, expressive art, skill building, and parent collaboration I help children and adolescents overcome anxiety, depression, and insecurities that lead to low self-esteem and difficulties with self-confidence.

— Anthony Dimitrion, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Ridgewood, NJ

When people begin to see that they have been living their life based on what they were told they 'ought' to do by someone else or what they believed they 'should' be doing, they start to recognize the source of their emotional upset. At this point a real change can begin to take place. When this change takes place we begin to accept ourselves unconditionally, regardless of past behaviors whether good or bad.

— Scott Groves, Licensed Professional Counselor in Oklahoma City, OK

Esteem can be affected by many things from a single word said by a parent to bullying by schoolchildren to overbearing bosses, friends and romantic partners. It is also affected by the words we tell ourselves. As a team, we explore what you need to build confidence in different areas of your life. We set both short and long-term goals so that you can see and experience the process of taking action and achieving your goals. How do you want to see yourself? Are you ready to change?

— Diana Sturm, Counselor in ,

I am a psychotherapist, providing individuals counseling for a range of emotional and behavioral issues including anxiety, depression, poor self-image, relationship conflicts, and those facing life transitions. Sometimes, it is simply a feeling something needs to change. Therapy can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. I look forward to speaking with you.

— Joseph McGeady LCSW, Psychologist in Princeton, NJ

Feelings of not being enough are often at the roots of depression and anxiety. Low self-worth can hold you back from leading the life you want, or pursuing the jobs and relationships you deserve. I use a combination of self-compassion techniques, and mindful exploration of your own intuitive knowing, to elicit and ground in your internal sense of self-worth.

— Amanda Ball, Counselor in Portland, OR

Part of being a human being is needing guidance for those stubborn areas that still make us doubt ourselves. We all have these trigger areas but no one talks about it. When you realize the limits you put on yourself are quite meaningless, you begin to free yourself of all that negative chatter in your head. If you have never shown your true self to someone and have avoided letting anyone see the real you, get ready for that to all change! We will discover and redefine who you truly are.

— Keesha Parker, Licensed Professional Counselor in Fort Smith, AR