CBT for low self-esteem
What is low self-esteem?
Self-esteem is your view of yourself, your perception of how others see you, and the thoughts and beliefs you have about yourself, your world and your future. When your perception of yourself is negative, it can lead to an overwhelming feeling of low self-worth; and you may find yourself thinking that you’re not good enough. These are not just transient, negative, automatic thoughts that we all might have from time to time, but firm ideas about yourself that keep on reoccurring.
Are you struggling with low self-esteem?
It’s time to get help when:
- Your low self-esteem is causing ongoing anxiety
- Your low self-esteem makes you catastrophise about things going wrong in everyday life
- Your avoidant behaviour reinforces your negative beliefs, affects the outcome and confirms your core beliefs. For example, you are worried about socialising, so you stop going out, and then you feel isolated.
CBT and low self-esteem
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) focuses on your thinking errors and retrains your brain to think in a more balanced way and focus on behaviours to make them more functional.
With low self-esteem, 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, you are therefore encouraged to use a standard set of strategies proven to test out your beliefs and develop a new set of more helpful behaviours.
Before CBT, you may interpret a friend ignoring you as you not being good enough. After CBT training, you’re more likely to think of other reasons why you were ignored. Perhaps your friend was preoccupied, didn’t have time to see you or is dealing with a problem in their life? This then leads you to call and find out how they are – a more helpful behaviour than going home and brooding about your perceived flaws.