Self Esteem & Self Development
What is it
Low self-esteem is a negative sense of self that results when people primarily think about themselves in a negative way (Fennel, 1998). They usually have a number of negative core beliefs about themselves, which may include labels like “I’m stupid”, “unlovable”, “unworthy”, or “a failure”. People with low self-esteem may also pay more attention to life events that confirm these negative ideas about themselves and discard evidence that may lead to a more positive, balanced view.
Low self-esteem can be a symptom of current mental health problems such as depression or life stressors like job loss or chronic illness. In fact, if a person’s low view of themself began only after they became depressed or experienced a life stressor then these should be the primary focus of treatment. However low self-esteem can also make you vulnerable to developing mental health problems like depression, eating disorders and anxiety disorders. In these cases clients can benefit when low self-esteem is the focus of treatment.
What does it include
People with self-esteem often engage in a number of self-defeating behaviours and thinking patterns including:
- Self-criticism and self doubt
- Lack of assertiveness
- Difficulty recognizing positive qualities in oneself
- Negative predictions for the future
- Avoidance of challenges and opportunities
- Perfectionism or being a “workaholic”
- A focus on perceived negative life events that confirm a negative views of self
- Difficulties with depression, anxiety or anger
If you have been suffering from a number of these symptoms it might be a sign that you could benefit from professional support.
Low self esteem is treatable and you don’t have to go through it on your own. A psychologist can help you engage in a number of evidence based treatments for low self esteem including Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
How can a psychologist help
Treatment may include helping you understand the origins of your low self esteem, how it may be linked to other problems, challenge negative core beliefs, decrease thoughts and behaviours that are maintaining your low self esteem, and help you to develop a more balanced, positive view of yourself (Fennel, 1998).
If you require additional information, please call our office on 07 3256 6320. Our mental health focused reception staff will be only too happy to assist you with your enquiry about our service and can suggest the most suitable Psychologist for your concern.