Self-esteem counseling: Boost your confidence and self-worth with help from Thriveworks

Self-esteem significantly influences our life in many ways: It impacts our self-confidence, relationships, and ability to pursue our goals and aspirations, ultimately playing a pivotal role in our overall life satisfaction and success. 

This is precisely why low self-esteem can have detrimental effects on our life, leading to feelings of inadequacy, self-doubt, and increased vulnerability to mental health issues like anxiety and depression. It can also hinder our personal and professional growth, impacting our relationships, career choices, and overall life fulfillment. 

At Thriveworks, we understand the profound impact that low self-esteem has on your overall well-being and quality of life. Whether you’re struggling with negative self-talk, finding it challenging to accept compliments, or grappling with feelings of worthlessness, our self-esteem counseling services are here to provide guidance, support, and empowerment. We’re committed to helping you build a stronger, more positive sense of self. 

Let’s explore how self-esteem counseling at Thriveworks can be your key to unlocking a happier, more confident you.

What Is Self-Esteem and Why Does It Matter?

Self-esteem is being able to hold yourself in high regard, feeling worthy, and thinking of yourself in a positive way. Self-esteem matters because when we feel good about ourselves, we are able to live happy and successful lives. 

Studies have shown that people who have high self-esteem end up having healthy relationships, are more satisfied in life, and enjoy greater levels of fulfillment.

What Are Some of the Most Common Low Self-Esteem Symptoms?

Some of the most common low self-esteem symptoms include: 

  • Negative self talk 
  • Constant comparison to others 
  • Feelings of inadequacy in comparison to others
  • Feelings of worthlessness 
  • Difficulty accepting compliments or positive feedback
  • Social withdrawal
  • Loneliness
  • Emotional sensitivity
  • Lack of self-care 

These are considered general indicators that someone has low self-esteem issues and would benefit from self-esteem counseling.

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What Factors Influence Self-Esteem Levels?

Many factors can influence self-esteem, such as:

  • Personal accomplishments
  • Feeling good about your skills in various areas
  • Having resilience or positive coping skills that compliment your ability to overcome challenges and setbacks 
  • Having social support and positive relationships that provide validation, encouragement, and a sense of belonging

A positive mindself can promote a higher sense of self-esteem, something our therapists with self-esteeming counseling specialties will understand and help you to cultivate in every session.

How to Understand Self-Esteem: The Foundation of Mental Well-Being

Understanding self-esteem is a complex and nuanced concept that encompasses a person’s beliefs and emotions about themselves. It encompasses their perceptions of their personality, skills, and whether these perceptions lean toward positivity or negativity. 

According to Rosenberg’s seminal work in 1958, self-esteem is characterized by one’s overall attitude toward themselves. When we speak of self-esteem, we are essentially referring to an individual’s subjective evaluation of their self-worth. 

High self-esteem individuals tend to:

  • Appreciate their personalities
  • Exude self-confidence in their intrinsic worth
  • Possess a sense of dignity 

Conversely, those with low self-esteem often: 

  • View themselves as inherently flawed
  • Focus on perceived defects
  • Struggle with low confidence in their abilities and capacity to accomplish tasks 

Ultimately, the examples above show how self-esteem levels can significantly influence various aspects of someone’s life, from their relationships to their personal and professional growth.

What Are the Benefits of Professional Self-Esteem Counseling?

There are many benefits of self-esteem counseling at Thriveworks. As stated previously, it can: 

  • Improve self-image
  • Increase self-confidence 
  • Increase self-worth
  • Improve mental health
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Improve performance at work or academically

Oftentimes, most of us have self-esteem levels that wax and wane over time, depending on what happens in one’s life and how we choose to respond to it. If we internalize negative experiences and the emotions attached to them, often this can result in low self-esteem. 

With the help of a counselor, you can navigate these scenarios and life circumstances while reaffirming that your worthiness has nothing to do with what you can do for others or for yourself, but rather it exists in simply being human. 

Our self-esteem counselors at Thriveworks believe in the innate dignity and worth of a person and will help if you’re struggling with low self-esteem. They can teach you how to acknowledge your strengths, special abilities, and inherent value.

What Therapy Is Best for Improving Low Self-Esteem?

Often, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can help to improve low self-esteem. CBT works to help someone understand the cognitions (or the thoughts) behind their behaviors (why we do what we do). 

If you are struggling with deeply-rooted beliefs about yourself you may find yourself less prone to trying new things. Naturally, if your core beliefs about yourself are negative, CBT would help you to reframe these negative thoughts and gently challenge them or change them from negative to positive. Sometimes life is not so black and white, and CBT can kickstart this process of developing psychological flexibility.

Can Counseling Improve Self-Esteem?

Most certainly, counseling can improve self-esteem! Counseling is a great place to explore the thoughts and emotions surrounding self-esteem and a place for getting to know yourself in an entirely different way.

Often, therapists can provide helpful exercises to challenge you to see who you are from a new perspective and help you challenge negative thoughts or beliefs about yourself to improve your self-esteem.

What Are the 3 C's of Self-Esteem?

The three Cs of self-esteem are said to be the following: Competence, confidence, and connection. These were developed from the Self-Determination Theory of Richard Ryan and Edward Deci who use the terms “relatedness” (connection), autonomy (confidence), and competence to start living in a more purposeful and meaningful way. 

The idea is if you “work the three Cs”, you begin to live a life full of meaning and purpose, richness in connections and meaningful relationships, feeling self confident in your skills and abilities, and being able to have the power to choose what you want for yourself and your life in autonomy.

How Do You Counsel Someone with Self-Esteem Issues?

Counseling someone with self-esteem issues requires a provider who is compassionate and empathetic in their approach. First, it is important to develop a trusted therapeutic relationship, a safe, and nonjudgmental environment where a person feels safe and comfortable sharing their thoughts and feelings. 

Then, once having this developed, a counselor will begin to help the client identify self-esteem patterns and help the person recognize how their own patterns impact their daily life and relationships with others and self. 

Moreover, a therapist will: 

  • Help the client challenge negative thoughts, encourage them to challenge and reframe negative thoughts 
  • Teach them to replace any self critical thoughts with positive and compassionate statements 
  • Help them recognize their strengths and accomplishments 

Additionally exercises in self-compassion and practicing kindness towards oneself can be helpful for adults struggling with low self-esteem. Sometimes it is as simple as catching yourself regarding your self-talk, which a counselor will teach you to identify.

Self-Esteem Therapy Activities for Adults

There may be an emphasis on encouraging self care for adults in self-esteem counseling who are feeling weighed down. Self care activities can include:

  • Exercise
  • Exploring new hobbies
  • Quality time with loved ones
  • Focusing on career and skill development
  • Meditation and mindfulness
  • Journaling

In self-esteem counseling sessions, a therapist may recommend other individually-specific exercises.

What Does a CBT Treatment Plan for Low Self-Esteem Look Like?

A mock plan for CBT treatment for someone low self-esteem counseling may look like this:

Goal: Improve self-esteem and develop a positive sense of self image.

Objective: Increase self-awareness and understanding or self-esteem issues. 

Interventions/Treatment Modality: Conduct an initial assessment to explore the individual’s self-esteem concerns, identifying specific patterns and triggers to low self-esteem. 

Objective 2: Challenge negative and self critical thoughts.

Intervention: Teach CBT techniques to help the individual identify automatic negative thoughts and replace them with positive, more realistic and self compassionate ones. 

A therapist will work to support goal setting a therapeutic plan to address self-esteem. A therapist will help the person set realistic and achievable goals to gradually build their self-esteem. 

These steps are often broken down into smaller steps and the therapist and client will celebrate progress along the way. Each plan is tailored to each client’s individual needs.

How Does Person-Centered Therapy (PCT) for Low Self-Esteem Work?

Person-centered therapy, also known as client-centered therapy, is a technique utilized by many therapists who specialize in self-esteem counseling at Thriveworks. It can help individuals with low self-esteem in various ways by focusing on helping the person seeking assistance through therapy to make the most out of a safe, supportive environment in order to explore their thoughts and feelings and experiences without fear of criticism or rejection. 

This safe environment, whether virtual or in-person, allows individuals to express themselves freely and openly, leading to greater self acceptance. It also encourages self exploration, self expression, and offers to empower personal growth and autonomy of the person. 

Through this therapeutic approach, individuals are empowered to make their own decisions, choices, and take ownership of their lives. This can ultimately contribute to a greater sense of self and increase self confidence.

What Are Some Personalized Strategies to Enhance Confidence?

There are many ways to enhance your self confidence. 

  • Celebrate your accomplishments and recognize your achievements, no matter how small they will seem. This will reinforce a positive mindset and boost your confidence. 
  • Practice self-care. Taking care of your physical and mental well being is vital to building self confidence. By getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, exercising and engaging in things that bring you joy this can bring more satisfaction and overall happiness. 
  • Challenge negative self-talk. Replace negative thoughts and any self doubt with positive or compassionate self talk. Remind yourself of how far you have come, challenges you have made it through, remind yourself of your strengths, and reframe negative experiences in a more positive light. Surround yourself with positive, supportive people. 
  • Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people who believe in your and your abilities, this will provide reassurance and encouragement to help boost your self confidence. 

By pushing yourself to try new things and develop new skills, you will grow your self confidence. 

Exploring Self-Esteem Counseling Options

If you’re ready to build your self-esteem, look for a Thriveworks counselor specializes in self-esteem – you might consider looking for one who is client-centered and offers CBT and/or strengths-based therapy in their biography, too. Start browsing online for therapists in your area.

Your Path to Stronger Self-Esteem Starts Here: How to Begin Self-Esteem Counseling

Wondering how to begin self-esteem counseling? As suggested above, look for a therapist that may have a special skill set in building confidence or focus in working with others regarding self-esteem. Most mental health professionals are able to help with navigating low self-esteem and providing skills to help.

Booking Your Self-Esteem Counseling Session: When to Begin

Self-esteem shapes our thoughts, feelings, and actions, influencing our perception of self-worth. Professional self-esteem counseling offers a path to numerous benefits, including improved self-image, increased self-confidence, and a stronger sense of worthiness. 

Self-esteem can fluctuate due to life’s challenges, but with the guidance of a counselor, we can navigate these experiences, reaffirm our intrinsic worth, and rediscover our strengths. You can seek out a mental health professional at Thriveworks with expertise in building confidence and self-esteem, and consider cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as an effective tool for improving low self-esteem. 

Don’t hesitate to book your self-esteem counseling session today. Remember that stepping out of your comfort zone can be the first empowering step toward healing and personal growth. 

Embrace the journey to greater self-esteem and a happier, more successful life and schedule a session with Thriveworks today.

Table of contents

What Is Self-Esteem and Why Does It Matter?

What Are Some of the Most Common Low Self-Esteem Symptoms?

What Factors Influence Self-Esteem Levels?

How to Understand Self-Esteem: The Foundation of Mental Well-Being

What Are the Benefits of Professional Self-Esteem Counseling?

What Therapy Is Best for Improving Low Self-Esteem?

Can Counseling Improve Self-Esteem?

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Christine Ridley, Resident in Counseling in Winston-Salem, NC

Christine Ridley, LCSW

Christine Ridley is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who specializes in adolescent and adult anxiety, depression, mood and thought disorders, addictive behaviors, and co-dependency issues.

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Laura Harris is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC). She specializes in anger, anxiety, depression, stress management, coping strategies development, and problem-solving skills.

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Jason Crosby is a Senior Copywriter at Thriveworks. He received his BA in English Writing from Montana State University with a minor in English Literature. Previously, Jason was a freelance writer for publications based in Seattle, WA, and Austin, TX.

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  • Park, J. Y., & Park, E. Y. (2019). The Rasch analysis of Rosenberg self-esteem scale in individuals with intellectual disabilities. PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6751397/

  • Baumeister, R. F. (2003, May). Does High Self-Esteem Cause Better Performance, Interpersonal Success, Happiness, or Healthier Lifestyles? Sage Journals. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1111/1529-1006.01431

  • Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2015). Self-Determination Theory. Science Direct. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/social-sciences/self-determination-theory

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