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

Work to improve self-esteem will include taking an inventory of what the client feels is inadequate. We will develop realistic goals and standards that take into account the many restrictions which may be present and preventing achievement of desired goals. We might explore area's such as unhelpful comparison of self to others, perfectionism, and negative core beliefs. Clients will receive unconditional positive regard through this challenging and sensitive work.

— Sarah Glidden, Counselor in Portland, OR

"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

I have helped clients struggling with self-esteem in a variety of settings, including inpatient substance abuse treatment; inpatient psychiatric care; domestic violence and sexual assault shelters and community counseling services; and private therapy practice. Drawing largely on a person-centered, strengths-based cognitive-behavioral approach, I help clients learn new ways of thinking and nurturing themselves.

— Chelsea Kazmier, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Satellite Beach, FL

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

Are you struggling to connect, feeling lonely or misunderstood? Explore your values with me and find your path to becoming your authentic self, thereby attracting more like-minded people into your life.

— Nicola Gosen, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Bellingham, WA

I have 10 years of experience working with clients experiencing low self-esteem and helping them to realize their own worth and greatness. Empowerment is a great tool for helping client increase self-esteem and it's a hallmark of feminist therapy, my main therapy modality!

— Erin Shapiro, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX

Working with people who struggle with low self-esteem is a passion of mine. It upsets me when I hear the negative way people talk about themselves. It's amazing how easy it is to minimize all our strengths but maximize all our “weaknesses." We would never talk to someone else the way that we talk to ourselves and I can help you learn to appreciate your areas of improvement and find your self worth again.

— Stephanie Weston, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Los Angeles, CA 90066, CA

I have worked with many women and men who initially seek out counseling for anxiety, depression, relationship problems, and work issues--and often underlying these problems is a lack of trust in themselves, lots of negative self-talk, and unfinished healing from past family and relationship events. My hope is to create a safe environment to explore the lack of self-esteem, and to then collaborate in implementing skills that will foster self-confidence, and self acceptance.

— Amanda Rebel, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

Confidence is everything when you are working in the arts. If you don't buy it, they won't! I help clients find self-esteem outside of their work, and help to let go of the anxieties holding them back.

— Elle Bernfeld, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

It has been said that our essence, our soul, is ever present like the sun, yet like the sun, it can become obscured by clouds. These clouds represent the wounds and trauma you've experienced throughout your life, along with the defenses that have helped you survive, yet these defenses (the inner critic, depression, anxiety...) may no longer serve you. Together we can bring awareness to and begin to relax these defenses allowing more of your gifts, your ever-present essence to shine through.

— Erika Shershun, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Do you feel bad about yourself and dwell on your flaws? ​You deserve to feel great about who you are. I'll empower you to unearth the amazing being within and feel comfortable in your shoes!

— Samantha Praus, Counselor in Minneapolis, MN

I believe that self-worth and self-compassion are vital in this new world of comparison, bullying and social media. Helping my clients understand the power of their own thinking changes how they see and live life. When we understand the importance of unconditional love and self-acceptance we become a little less concerned about what others think of us or how they see us.

— Tracey R Cobb, Counselor in Marietta, GA

We need to like ourselves. It makes life a lot easier when we have confidence and trust in ourselves. I believe that self-esteem issues are at the root of a lot of our other mental health issues. If we can heal the root, the other symptoms will alleviate.

— Rochelle Schwartz, Licensed Professional Counselor in Portland, OR

if you are feeling a lack of confidence or low self-esteem, working with me can help you learn new ways of seeing yourself. I have probably been in your shoes and know that it is possible to change how we relate to ourselves, and to develop new beliefs about what is possible for our lives. My goal is to help you become more confident that you have ever thought possible.

— Ryan Ramsey, Counselor in Denver, CO

Many people look in the mirror & see someone they don’t like very much. They see faults, flaws & failures. They feel shame, embarrassment & maybe even anger toward themselves. Poor self-esteem many times is a discrepancy between expectations & reality (though this reality is usually distorted). When we fail to match those standards, one response may be frustration, anger or even hatred for the parts of ourselves that don't measure up.

— Yolande Ford, Licensed Professional Counselor in Stamford, CT

Over the years, I’ve led thousands of therapy groups, and provided hundreds of people with individual, couples, and family therapy. I’ve treated people from all walks of life, with all kinds of presenting problems, from depression and anxiety, to chronic pain and illness, to addiction and severe mental illness. I have found that the common denominator across populations and issues is low self-esteem; people really don’t seem to be able to accept or love themselves. I have come to realize that the true core of my work is to empower people to find the light within themselves – to discover their true nature and free themselves of their self-judgments. I believe that this is what brings us true joy and inner peace, and allows us to create all that we desire in life.

— Adriana Popescu, Clinical Psychologist in San Francisco, CA

I believe that healthy self-esteem is the ultimate foundation of living a happy and fulfilled life. The same way somebody with healthy self-esteem would be best equipped to go through life's challenges; low self-esteem can be a major contributing factor to one's depression, anxiety or overall emotional well-being. I take a proactive approach in helping my clients define what self-esteem means to them and provide them with the tools and perspectives to feel better about themselves.

— Noam Dinovitz, Therapist in bala cynwyd, PA

I believe that the relationship we have with ourselves sets the precedent for all our relationships. You may struggle to put yourself first - either because you have always been told to put others before you (common in many Eastern cultures) or because you don't think you deserve to be first. I am here to tell you that you are so important and in order to thrive in all parts of your life, you must prioritize yourself.

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

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 , FL

We are often our own worst critic, in fact we couldn't find anymore more judgmental or harsh about how we look, what we say or what we do. Can you imagine having a different relationship with that part of you? One of harmony and collaboration instead of a constant battle of wills? Together we can take a deep dive into this critic, learning its habits, tactics and needs in order to bring more self compassion and love into your life.

— Kathleen Day, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in San Francisco, CA

Having low self-esteem can keep you from achieving any goals you set for yourself. It can also hinder you from enjoying your life. Through our work together, I will help you build confidence to achieve your best life.

— Mary Nashed, Counselor in Chapel Hill, NC

I once had issues with my own self esteem and I thought that I wasn't good enough for anything or anyone I didn't try to make any friends throughout my middle grade years and then finally in the 9th grade a teacher ( I will not reveal the name of my teacher) reached out to me and asked if I was okay and I told that teacher that I wasn't okay and my teacher talked to my parents and they set me up for some counseling and it worked

— Kaylissa Butrum, Psychiatrist in danville, IN

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

Self-esteem is your opinion of yourself. When you have healthy self-esteem, you feel good about who you are and see yourself as deserving the respect of others. When you have low self-esteem, you put little value on your opinions and ideas. I specialize in helping women overcome the difficult things in their past that led to an unhealthy self-esteem. We work together to learn ways to see yourself as valuable, worthy, and deserving of love, kindness, and compassion.

— Melanie Taylor, Counselor in Fort Smith, AR