Building Self-Esteem

What is the cause of low self-esteem?

The roots of low self-esteem are complex and varied, and contrary to the old stereotype, it’s not always our parents who are to blame.

Low self-esteem can be the result of the story or narrative that the mind creates over the course of our lifetime. The brain stores all of our experiences and the emotional response to each one, creating a detailed story of who we are. The popular name or label for this story is our identity or self-image.

At some points in the course of our lives, we all have difficult, painful, traumatic or confusing experiences. The conclusions we draw from these experiences can lead to a negative self-image. For example:

  1. I was abused……..Therefore, I must have done something to deserve it.
  2. My partner left me……..Therefore, there must be something wrong with me.
  3. I have trouble paying attention……..Therefore, I must be stupid.
  4. I got fired from my job……..Therefore, I must be a failure.

Sometimes these negative conclusions are not so obvious or clear to us. And, to make matters worse, once we draw negative conclusions about ourselves, it can then cause us to act in ways that support the negative beliefs, creating a pattern of relationship or work problems.

Even those of us who are fortunate enough to have been raised in warm, supportive environments cannot escape the barrage of messages our culture sends about how we are supposed to be.

My job is to help my clients to look more closely at the story they believe about themselves, to uncover the roots of low self-esteem, and to move toward a healthy balance of self-acceptance and self-improvement.

Tools for fostering positive self-esteem

A realistic self-image leads to more confidence, more energy and more capacity to work and love well. Here are just a few of the tools I employ to help you rewrite your own inner narrative: psychodynamic therapy, self-acceptance therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, hypnotherapy and interpersonal therapy.

Content and webdesign © 2009 Karen Robson, MFT