Low Self Esteem & CBT Therapy

Low self esteem impacts on what you are able to put yourself forward to do, how you think about yourself and occupies your mind by making you overly analyse how others maybe judging you. You really have to save yourself because the critic within you will eat you up.

It’s not the outside world – it’s that critical voice within you, that you have to silence.


What is Low Self Esteem?

Self-esteem is the self perception of how we view ourselves, our perception of how others see us, and the thoughts and beliefs we have about ourselves, our world, and our future.


What are the common features of Low Self Esteem?

When our perception of ourselves is negative it can lead to an overwhelming feeling of low self-worth; “I’m not good enough”; “not interesting enough”; and/or “I am not attractive enough.”

These are not just transient negative automatic thought that we all might have from time to time in a particular difficult situation, but in low self esteem, these are global ideas about the self that keep on reoccurring in most situations.

When a person with low self esteem enters a difficult situations then negative belief about the self are activated. This then generates negative predictions, about what could go wrong, and generates anxiety and low mood. To compensate, or stop the bad prediction, from happening we can take unhelpful precautions. These actions, intended to cope, can reinforce the negative belief or “contaminates” the outcome; and in turn confirming the core belief.

As such, for example, we can stop seeing our friends or even going out to do the food shopping from fear of being criticised or judged by others – so we can become isolated. Similarly, when we do see others we may feel it is important to help others and please others as much as possible, if not “I will be rejected, abandoned, unloved.” etc.

Can CBT Therapy be used for Low Self Esteem?

In low self esteem, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) takes the view that these core beliefs are just opinions, and not facts, that are maintained by unhelpful thinking or behaviours. To overcome low self esteem we use a standard set of strategies proven to test out these beliefs and develop a new set of helpful behaviours. The aim is to see if they these beliefs stand up to evidence and if not to identify alternative ‘rational’ interpretation about how things are.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) focuses on our thinking errors and retrains the brain to think in a more balanced way and it focuses on behaviours to make them more functional.

If we have the thought that a person has just ignored me and that means I am not good enough, perhaps a more balanced thought might be that the person was preoccupied and may have a few problems to deal with. Instead, therefore, of going home and doing nothing and taking this thought as the ‘truth’, perhaps a ‘phone call to this person to see if they are alright might be a more helpful behaviour; helping us to confirm/disprove the initial thought we may have had in relation to this situation.

Treatment usually includes:

  • Cognitive restructuring
  • Analysis of currently held Schema
  • Behavioural Activation
  • Behavioural Experiments
  • Social Skills training
  • Assertiveness Training
  • Role play
  • Mindfulness training

We are a pure cognitive behavioural therapy service based in Nottingham and all our CBT Experts are highly skilled and have helped 100’s of clients overcome Low Self Esteem. So don’t suffer in silence, call us and start making the changes today!

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