Self-esteem is the degree to which one feels confident, valuable, and worthy of respect. It exists on a continuum from high to low; where a person’s self-esteem falls on this spectrum can influence one’s overall well-being. People with high self-esteem often feel good about themselves and their progress through life. People with low self-esteem often feel shame and self-doubt. They often spend lots of time criticizing themselves.
Low self-esteem is a symptom of several mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. Low self-esteem is not represented as its own diagnosis in the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V). Yet its symptoms and effects are very real. Having a supportive and caring therapist to guide you to a more realistic sense of self, as well as to outline the positives to focus on is key in helping to overcome the grip that low self-worth, or self-esteem can have on a person. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and positive psychology we use for lack of self-esteem may include the following interventions: Cognitive restructuring, systematic exposure, mindfulness training, and problem-solving (Wilding & Palmer, 2017).
Wilding, C., & Palmer, S. (2017). Beat Low Self-Esteem with CBT. London: John Murray Learning.