Self-Esteem is the experience of being competent to cope with the basic challenges of life and being worthy of happiness. It is the opinion that you have of yourself.

Self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image…these are the trio that intertwine and perhaps have the most significant impact on a person’s well-being and enjoyment of life. Therefore, we find that self-esteem is often at the core of a variety of psychological difficulties. Low self esteem is a common feature in depression, anxiety (especially social anxiety), eating disorders, addictions, relationship problems, communication problems, and more.

When what other people think of oneself is considered more important than one’s own self-regard, then it could be said that the person’s self esteem is in effect located outside their body. That is, the self esteem depends on others’ views, which renders it to be unstable, causing one to be overly vulnerable to public opinion (whether it be real or imagined). Negative emotional reactions and suffering can be the result. Eventually, these real or perceived negative judgments become integrated as part of one’s own view of oneself, solidifying an impairment in self esteem. Identifying impairments in self esteem and working to build up or heal the self esteem in those areas is central to the work of cognitive therapy. In therapy, one learns how to take one’s power back, and be the keeper of one’s self-esteem.

Help begins with a phone call.

Life Psychologists is a team of experienced psychologists that can help you to effectively manage and resolve issues related to low self-esteem.

To enquire about an appointment, please call us on 1300 084 200.



Key Papers


  • Fennell, M. J. V. (1996). Cognitive therapy in the treatment of low self-esteem. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 4, 296-304
  • Fennell, M. J. V. (2004). Depression, low self-esteem, and mindfulness. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 42, 1053-1067
  • McManus, F., Waite, P., & Shafran, R. (2009). Cognitive-behavior therapy for low self-esteem: a case example. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice16(3), 266-275
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