- Evelyn Aizenberg Psy.D, LMFT
Symptoms of low self-esteem:
- feelings of worthlessness
- feelings of incompetence
- feeling unloved
- experiencing fear and negative thoughts
- having unrealistic goals
- engaging in destructive relationships
- fear of change and taking risks
- distorted views of self and others
What causes low self-esteem?
The foundations for low self esteem are usually laid in one's childhood. Not being able to trust that we are valued and understood, and that our anxieties can be soothed, prevents one from constructing an internal reality in which the world is safe, and that one is a lovable and worthy people. Consequently, one might experience difficulties in accurately evaluating and trusting what he can manage in life. In addition, one might suffer difficulty in recognizing stress and unhealthy relationship patterns. Early nurturing can teach one how to nurture oneself and to develop a resilience to dealing with life’s challenges. Deprivation from such nurturance can be detrimental to one's self esteem. The psychotherapeutic relationship can serve as a vehicle to creating a secure base and compensating for some of childhood's deficiencies.
Treatment for Low Self Esteem:
Using psychodynamic psychotherapy and attachment theory, we can examine together your personal history, in a more objective way that can allow you to evaluate your current situation without feeling blamed. It can also offer us an opportunity to examine whether early patterns of relating are being repeated in your current relationships. It is important to find a therapist you feel comfortable with, and who can help you feel better about yourself. Only when you value your own talents and attributions, and when you feel good about some aspects of yourself, can you allow yourself to be more realistic about your goals and the possible ways to achieve them.