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.

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I have been studying the effects and potential causes of low self-esteem since the age of 14, when I completed a project examining the systemic problem of decreasing self-esteem in grade-school aged girls in the areas of math and science across age groups, and proposing multiple possible sources of this occurrence. More recently, in my clinical work I have facilitated a women's group intended to raise individual participants' self-esteem and to create a sense of community within the group.

— Megan Matthews, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Lakewood, OH

Exploring self esteem, Conditonal/Unconditional positive regard.

— Derrick Palmer, Social Worker in ,

I help clients overcome low self-esteem, so they can realize that they are already-- and have always been-- "enough."

— Sarah McCune, Licensed Professional Counselor in Denver, CO

Rebuilding self-esteem is the foundation of all of the work that I do with my clients. To do this work, I help folks understand the core beliefs that are unconsciously shaping their feelings about themselves. Once these beliefs have been brought into the light, we can get right to work squashing them! For body image work, I focus on body liberation and acceptance of all body types.

— Natosha Knight, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

It takes time and practice to improve your self-esteem, such that you walk through the world bravely, with confidence, and the willingness to take risks. I’ll help you take off the “armor” you’ve used for so long for protection and move toward yourself and others in a spirit of compassion and open-heartedness. If it's situational we'll develop steps for you to practice and move through it. If it's deep rooted, we'll unpack it, bring it to the surface, and learn to leave it in the past.

— Nicole Byrne, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Walnut Creek, CA

Some common symptoms and behaviors associated with low self-esteem include: -Negative self-talk and a tendency to focus on personal flaws and weaknesses -A constant need for validation and approval from others -Difficulty setting boundaries and saying "no" to the demands of others -A tendency to avoid challenges and new experiences -Difficulty accepting compliments or positive feedback -A sense of shame or guilt about one's actions and decisions

— Sanah Kotadia, Licensed Professional Counselor

We live in a world where we are constantly being compared, sized up and made to feel as if EVERYTHING is a competition. In the world of entertainment, this is especially true and extremely difficult to ignore. Sometimes as entertainers, it can be challenging to separate the art product from the artist themselves, making criticism something that can just make you feel all around crappy. Together, we can discuss ways to create an improved relationship to yourself and your art.

— Rebecca Brown, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in ,

"Kelli always offers both support and solutions. I love the way she helps me reframe negative situations so I can approach them with more confidence." (Client testimonial)

— Kelli Hall, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

My job is not to fix you (because you're not broken), but to work with you to address the underlying patterns and fear. During our sessions, we may explore how unhealthy patterns and limiting self-beliefs play a role in where you are struggling. We often tell constant and sometimes unconscious story's to ourselves about our worth and abilities. By bringing these stories into our awareness, we increase our ability to question the stories in order to heal and grow.

— Molly McCarthy, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor

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

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

Self-esteem is impacted by basically everything else in our life. If we're struggling with anxiety, it's hard to feel good about ourselves and have higher self-esteem. Sometimes working on self-esteem means working on other things, like anxiety first. Other times it means processing through how you actually see yourself, and getting yourself to a place where you can see yourself in a more positive way. But it is possible to change how you see yourself!

— Danielle Wayne, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Boise, ID

When confronted with difficult relationships, be it with a friend, family member, romantic partner, coworker, or employer, we often adopt roles to fit those relationships and compromise our relationship with ourselves. I help my clients to examine their relationships with themselves and others by observing what they do, how they think, and how they feel. We then use this information to heal the client's internal relationship with themselves and forge healthier external relationships.

— Michael Germany, Licensed Professional Counselor Associate in Austin, TX