Self-Esteem Therapy Chicago

Self-Esteem Therapy Chicago

What is self-esteem Therapy?

girl with high self-esteem

Self-esteem therapy focuses on improving the self-esteem of the person seeking therapy. Often this work is done using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to encourage the person to look at the thoughts and beliefs they are holding about themselves, and ask if they are true or helpful in the pursuit of improved self-esteem. A common example of a thought rooted in low self-esteem is “nobody like me”. CBT would encourage the person to examine the evidence of that thought, and come up with a list of people who do like them. Also it would encourage the person to consider if holding onto that belief is helpful or hurtful based on their goal of improving their self-esteem. 

What is self-esteem and why is it important to address?

Self-esteem involves how a person thinks about themselves. If a person has healthy self-esteem they will hold themselves in high regard, feeling worthy, confident and capable. If a person has negative self-esteem they will feel unworthy, unconfident and incapable in their daily life. Self-esteem influences every aspect of a person’s life from work to relationships to mental health, and it can be improved despite what might be happening in a person’s life circumstance. This means that a person’s life doesn’t have to be perfect for them to have high self-esteem, in fact high self-esteem is more of a predictor of a fulfilling and happy life. 

Self-esteem is important to address in therapy because it impacts every aspect of a person’s life and how they move throughout the world. The consequences of low self-esteem as significant, and can hole someone back from pursuing higher education or a new job, putting them self out there in the dating scene or making new friends. That person’s world then gets smaller and less meaningful and enjoyable, leaving them vulnerable to mental illness. 

What are the signs of a low self-esteem?

Low self-esteem can present in many different ways depending on the individual. Some common signs of low self-esteem are:

  1. Valuing the opinions and needs of others more than their own
  2. Dismissing strengths, accomplishments and positive feedback and focusing on perceived weaknesses and failures
  3. Comparison to others and feeling incompetent
  4. Difficulty trusting their own intuition
  5. Fear of being rejected socially or romantically
  6. Persistent feeling of being unloved or unwanted
  7. Frequent judgmental self-talk 
  8. Being drawn to unhealthy relationships, staying in relationships that are not respectful or reciprocal 

How does a low self-esteem impact daily life and mental health?

Low self-esteem is highly correlated with poor mental health because it influences how the person views themself in the world around them. Depression and anxiety are commonly associated with low self-esteem due to a few contributing factors. First, a person with low self-esteem is more likely to avoid situations or people because they are anxious about the interaction or outcome, or because they don’t feel worthy to be engaging with those people or situations. Chronic avoidance makes a person’s world quite small, leaving the door open for chronic depression and anxiety to take hold. Second, repeated negative self-talk, self-judgment and comparison can lead to depression and a feeling of hopelessness. Third, low self-esteem can impact relationships. Tension can arise when a loved one has a wonderful image of a person, but that same person is constantly talking negatively about themselves and views themself in a negative light. That disconnect can wear on a relationship over time, making intimate connection difficult. 

How does self-esteem therapy help?

Self-Esteem therapy can help in many ways. One way it is helpful is by helping the person identify where their low self-esteem is rooted from and what triggers it. From there, new narratives can be built and the old beliefs can be challenged. The person can cope ahead if a situation that feels triggering is coming up, and feel prepared to support themself through challenging moments. 

Another way self-esteem therapy helps is by increasing the person’s sense of confidence and capability. Building mastery in a hobby or at work increases self-esteem because the person now has evidence that they are capable and have value. 

Self Esteem Resources

Journaling is an effective strategy for making changes to a person’s inner world and self-esteem. Journal about emotions that come up, patterns of thoughts that are observed and challenging situations that arise. Pay attention to using compassionate and loving language.

  1. Affirmations can be a helpful place to start when looking to improve self-esteem. Writing what makes a person special or unique is useful, along with any additional compliments.
  2. Engage with books, podcasts and videos about the topics of self-esteem, self-worth and self-confidence. 
  3. Speak to loved ones about the difficulty with self-esteem and be open to receiving their feedback and love


Cityscape Counseling has several therapists who are trained in the treatment of low Self-Esteem.

Self-Esteem Therapists in Chicago

if you’re looking for a Self-Esteem therapist in Chicago, cityscape counseling would love to work with you.