The importance of a healthy self-esteem cannot be underestimated. It reflects an individuals overall subjective emotional evaluation of their worth. It is not only our positive or negative opinion about us, but also forms the basis of our belief and attitude about ourselves. From childhood, several incidents including parenting, the family environment, incidents in school, relationship breakdowns, unemployment, financial circumstances, etc. can affect ones ability to think positively about ourselves. Persistent negative thinking can cause severe self esteem issues resulting in social withdrawal, sadness, anxiety, lack of motivation and concentration, constant feeling of a failure, feelings of worthlessness, need to people-please, little expectation of oneself or from others, self neglect, etc. If not dealt with at an appropriate time, these issues can dwell deeper and affect all aspects of our lives greatly.
Counselling and psychotherapy is extremely effective in building ones self-esteem. It firstly helps the client understand their self-concept by using person-centred techniques. The therapist helps the client explore the triggers and precipitating factors relating to their self esteem issues. Eventually, together the therapist and client gain insight and challenge the irrational thoughts, feelings and behaviours that were maintaining these issues. Finally using various cognitive behavioural techniques, the therapist aims for the client to improve their self-image and overall become more assertive and confident.