Low self-esteem

Feelings of self-worth vary significantly from one person to the next. The assessment of one’s own value is the result of many factors including upbringing, childhood experiences, culture, and individual differences in thought, behavior, and personality. Individuals with low self-esteem may see themselves as inferior to others or less worthy of love, friendship, and success. They may have difficulty accepting compliments, make self-disparaging remarks, or be unable to identify positive personal qualities. Feelings of worthlessness, fear of rejection, and hypersensitivity to normal criticism may also be challenges facing a person with low self-esteem.

Low-self-esteem in adolescents can be particularly challenging. Often teens with low self-esteem are the victims of bullying or can become “followers” afraid to speak out in situations they know to be wrong. It is particularly important to address issues of low self-esteem in adolescents before they create significant life-long limitations.

A healthy sense of self-respect and self-worth enable us to seek happiness and achieve success in life. At Swerdlow-Freed Psychology we can help you or your teenager build self-esteem. We help you confront and reframe negative self-images and replace them with a more realistic appraisal of your positive attributes. By shifting your focus away from limitations and past failures you will begin to see yourself as a person with strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else. This change in self-perception will help you appreciate your achievements and positive qualities and give you the confidence to explore new situations, appropriately assert your beliefs and desires, and better interact with others.


Therapy can improve self-confidence through:

  • Appropriate evaluation of one’s successes and failures
  • Developing tools to improve self-respect and self-worth
  • Promoting positive feelings by learning to appreciate one’s uniqueness
  • Role-playing or talk therapy to redirect negative feelings
  • Self-esteem, confidence-building exercises
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