Toronto Self Esteem Therapy
Self esteem means how much or how little we feel we are worth to ourselves and to others and how much we recognize our own inherent strengths, talents and efforts to grow ourselves. Self esteem therapy reveals to the client and therapist the degree to which these things are in place. Those with low self esteem tend to not recognize their strengths or to not take pride in them, to focus on their limitations and not accept them, to feel like they are not valuable to themselves and to others and to perceive the world as a constellation of forces beyond their control. Self esteem therapy aims to change these things.
Someone with high self esteem may say “I accomplished X”, “I accomplished X and good for you-you were able to do that because of strength X and Y”, “Now I will go further to build on accomplishment X by using the skills X, Y, and Z”, “This effort will bring me a step closer to the larger goal Z”, “My limitation X may interfere a bit with achieving the goal but I know my strengths are greater and this limitation is o.k. we all have them.” The self esteem therapy encourages you to look at the world this way. In self esteem therapy we recognize that it may feel unnatural to change certain things. The phrase “fake it till you make it” applies here.
With this person there is a recognition and positive self affirmation regarding the attainment of the goal. This person does not stop there though but uses the success to gain maximum benefits to feed the relationship with themselves. They do this by taking pride in the accomplishment and attribute the success to internal factors rather than to the forces in the world or chance. This person uses the success as evidence to support their positive qualities. Qualities that enable them to move towards goals with the ultimate goal of becoming the person they want to become. They acknowledge the limitations they have that may interfere but have more faith in their strengths and accept their limitations. They don’t single themselves out for having trouble. Obviously a good self esteem therapist should have good self esteem for the therapy to be successful.
Someone with low self esteem may look at the same situation this way: “I accomplished X but it just happened by chance and I got lucky”, “Last week when I tried to do X I was not able because I have the limitation X”,”I give up it is never going to work out”
This individual does not recognize the accomplishment as being a direct result of their actions or strengths and instead attribute it to chance and to external factors. By doing this the person is essentially undermining themselves. They have a blind spot to the reality of the situation and are not seeing cause and effect relationships because they are solely focused on their negative self perception and subsequent negative emotions often to the exclusion of everything else. Its hard to see clearly and effectively when you are feeling badly about yourself. Instead of marvelling in the success this person uses it as evidence to support a limitation they have. They inevitably draw the conclusion that they are somehow inadequate and misfortunate and go even further to conclude that they are supposed to be thus locking themselves into a state of helplessness and hopelessness. The self esteem therapy aims to understand just how much of an addiction, depression or anxiety is the direct result of low self esteem. By treating the self esteem these other serious conditions can improve.
A self esteem therapist knows someone with low self esteem has developed a habitual pattern of thinking that winds up as self defeat. Habits are formed when our brain circuits develop by consistently responding to pattern in the environment to become automatic. When someone becomes aware of the pattern they are able to change it and that’s what self esteem therapy aims to do. By understanding what a successful pattern looks like and copying it a person with low self esteem can begin to gain self esteem. This does not mean you are going to have to radically change your personality. It simply means developing a new automatic response to yourself, your environment and to the past and future. The self esteem therapy helps the client to see their strengths and successes while they forge forward with the changes in thinking undertaken in self esteem therapy.
We have a choice to think and act as we want to. We can determine the things we think and do. That means that if we decide who we want to be in the future we can make plans to consistently choose thoughts and actions that will get us to that place. The self esteem therapy helps with the setting of and attainment of goals. Small goals that you can structure your day around that build on larger goals is the way to do it. If you find yourself thinking thoughts or behaving in ways that detract from your goals you can choose to substitute ways of being and of thinking that will get you where you want to go. Remember there is a finite amount of energy in the day. Reaching our goals is about efficiency. Low self esteem denotes inefficiency.
If you can adhere to this plan then your past becomes positive as it becomes filled with accomplishments while your present continuously produces these results. The future becomes bright with purpose.
Please Contact Demian Brown MSW, RSW for a telephone consultation.