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It is normal to experience moments of self-doubt about who you are and what you have achieved, but when you have long-term negative feelings and views about yourself you may be struggling with low self-esteem. At Select Psychology you can access therapy which will help improve your self-esteem and provide foundations for life-long change.

Mental Health Day


Self-esteem is how you see your value as an individual and the confidence you have in your own worth or abilities. It develops and is influenced from our experiences and relationships from birth. Low self-esteem tends to occur as a result of negative experiences and troubled relationships, whereas good experiences and strong bonds raise it.

No single event or person determines your level of self-esteem. It develops over time and can change with time and events. For some it may be as a result of difficult experiences in childhood such as parents having high expectation and not feeling good enough, for others it may develop later in life as a result of a relationship breakdown or negative experiences at work.


The Symptoms

If you have low self-esteem, you will tend to hold a low opinion of yourself. You look at yourself and your abilities in a negative light, seeing yourself as inferior and needing to please others to gain their approval and feel good about yourself. These feelings and behaviours can feel natural and normal” because they are persistent, and as a result, can be hard to recognise, however if left untreated can lead to other difficulties such as depression and anxiety.


You should consider therapy for low self-esteem when:

You feel worthless or undeserving of the good things that happen to you

You feel incompetent and downplay your abilities

You are overwhelmed with fear and your negative thoughts stop you from doing the things that you enjoy

You are being unrealistic about the goals you set for yourself and catastrophes about the things that ‘might’ go wrong

You are drawn to destructive relationships

You are fearful of change and tend not to step out of your comfort zone

You have a distorted view of yourself and others which affects how you engage in healthy relationships


Cognitive Analytical Therapy (CAT)

Psychodynamic Therapy

Counselling & Psychotherapy


Healthier relationship with yourself and those around you

Better quality of life

Confidence in your abilities and belief that you deserve everything you want

Assertiveness in your decisions and choices

Improved ability to achieve the things you want in life


If you are suffering, it is best to seek treatment as soon as you are able to, but in the meantime there are some things that can help while you are waiting for your first appointment:

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes
Chances are, your inner self-critic makes you believe things about yourself that aren’t true and something you would never say to any other person. Would you ever say to a friend, what you say to yourself? This simple exercise can help you see that you are being too harsh with yourself.

Practice kindness
It is important to approach yourself with kindness in a difficult situation. It can be difficult to be kind when you feel like being self-critical. Ask yourself, what would you say to someone else in the same situation?

Draw boundaries
Saying “no” every once in a while can help define boundaries and make you feel more sure of yourself. Drawing boundaries initially may feel like you are doing something wrong and difficult, but in the long run it is better for everyone. Remember, “you cannot pour from an empty cup”.

Seek and build positive relationships
Seek people who appreciate you without reason or motive, simply because you are you. This will help you feel more energised, active and help you see yourself in a positive light

Challenge your negative thoughts
When you are suffering from low self-esteem, a trail of negative thoughts, self-doubt and even self-hatred can feel “normal”. Try to catch these negative thoughts, no matter how insignificant they may seem, and challenge them. This will gradually help you gain confidence in yourself.



We offer a wide range of therapies to help with low self-esteem and give you the tools to cope and understand your emotions. We are a private mental health service with highly trained therapists and no waiting lists.

This is how therapy would work:

Step 1

Get in touch

The first step is recognising you have an issue and seeking help – BOOK A FREE TELEPHONE CONSULTATION and start the process by providing a space and time to share your needs with us.

Step 2

Telephone Consultation

You will be heard and understood through a confidential phone conversation. Often called the ‘triage’ this is where you can share more about your needs, and we can advise on therapy pathways and provide initial guidance where possible.

Step 3

Appointment Offer

We will match your needs with the best fit practitioner for your therapy pathway and offer you an appointment within two weeks.

Step 4

Initial Assessment

Before you begin a course of therapy, your therapist will need to conduct an assessment in order to agree a course of therapy with you that will best help you and address your goals. This is still part of the therapeutic process and will provide you with a better understanding of your difficulties and how you may start to approach them.

Step 5

Your Therapy

Following on from your assessment, you will move onto therapy. Appointments are 50 minutes – these can be anything from weekly to monthly, depending on your individual circumstances. The number of sessions required to feel better will depend on your needs and therapy plan, this can range between 8-16 sessions, but in general more time is needed to address more complex issues.

Step 6

Feeling Better

As you start to improve, you can agree on changes to the frequency of sessions as required. Ultimately, there will be a time when both you and your therapist agree that you no longer need to continue in active therapy


Is low self-esteem a mental problem?

Though low self-esteem is not defined as a mental health problem, the two are closely linked and low self-esteem can lead to mental health problems if not addressed.

What are the causes of low self-esteem?

A number of life experiences can cause low self-esteem. Some of these include:

  • Experiencing prejudice or stigma of any kind, for example, racism
  • Being bullied, secluded or abused
  • Facing recurrent problems at work or while studying
  • Relationship problems, such as separation or divorce
  • Constant worries about your body image
  • Pressurising yourself to meet unrealistic expectations set by yourself, others or social media
What are the effects of low self-esteem?

Having low self-esteem can lead to mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and loneliness. It can also lead to issues in relationships and friendships. Low self-esteem can negatively affect your performance at your job, college or school; and can lead to increased risk of drug and alcohol abuse.

How can I help someone with low self-esteem?
  • Encourage them to look at their good qualities: No matter how insignificant it may be, focusing on good qualities can lead to major shifts in the way they perceive themselves.
  • Make them realise that they control their thoughts, not vice versa: This helps break the cycle of unhelpful thoughts and regain control.
  • Give them positive feedback: This will help them feel seen and important and will help them reinforce it positively.
  • Tell them you care about them and why: This helps them feel a greater sense of belonging.