6 Ways Therapy Can Boost Your Self-Esteem 

Low self-esteem is one of the most common reasons people enter therapy. Your self-esteem has a direct impact on your mental health. Problems may affect your relationships, work performance, and overall sense of stability. 

Low self-esteem is a primary symptom in numerous mental health conditions, including mood, anxiety, eating, and substance use disorders. While low self-esteem doesn’t inherently cause these issues, it can maintain or exacerbate concerning symptoms. 

But effective therapy can help boost your self-esteem and improve your quality of life. Here are six key reasons why. 

Unconditional Support

Therapy isn’t about giving direct advice or telling you how to live your life. Instead, your therapist’s main job is to support, guide, and encourage you in making optimal decisions. In addition, you will work together to explore healthy solutions for your existing issues. 

And unlike with family or friends, you don’t have to worry about impressing or satisfying your therapist. This sacred time is solely devoted to you and your needs. You are allowed to be exactly who you are. 

As a result, you will ideally feel safe and supported as you explore your feelings. You will also feel validated as a unique and whole person- regardless of your struggles.

Processing Emotions 

You can’t control your feelings. They are natural impulses that arise from internal or external stimuli. Everyone has feelings!  

Yet, many people desperately try to control how they feel. They try to avoid, suppress, rationalize, or minimize their emotional excuses. They might even subconsciously project their emotions onto other people. And when you can’t cope with how you feel, you may engage in dangerous self-sabotaging behaviors

However, learning how to identify and process them is an important part of your self-esteem. When you can engage in this work, your emotions may seem more manageable. They also no longer dictate how you live your life. 

Therapy teaches you how to embrace your emotions- even when they feel strange or uncomfortable. Therapy can also support you in being more mindful of how emotions affect your thoughts and behaviors. 

Recognizing Triggers

We all have various triggers that impact our mental health. Triggers can include certain people, places, or situations. Triggers aren’t always logical, but they may complicate your feelings. 

If you aren’t aware of these triggers (or don’t do anything proactive about them), they may harm your self-esteem. This is especially true if you continuously place yourself in triggering situations. 

In therapy, recognizing triggers means acknowledging how your feelings evolve throughout the day. It means identifying and mitigating stress as best as possible. Sometimes, it means setting better boundaries or changing habits. 

While you can’t avoid all triggers, being mindful of their role in your life can be empowering. As you gain more awareness, you can be more thoughtful in responding to them appropriately. 

Positive Coping Skills

You can boost your self-esteem by integrating healthier behaviors into your daily life. 

These behaviors may include skills like setting boundaries or practicing positive affirmations. They might also include specific lifestyle changes like exercising consistently, identifying your gratitude, or prioritizing better sleep. 

Your therapist will collaborate with you to review these skills and assess their efficacy. The goal, of course, isn’t to live perfectly. However, you should finish treatment feeling like you have a realistic roadmap to cope with your self-esteem and manage triggers as they arise. 

Healing Trauma

Trauma can have a direct impact on your self-esteem. It often affects how safe you feel with yourself and with others. In addition, it can coincide with intense shame and guilt, which make it challenging to feel confident. 

Working through your trauma takes time, and it’s often a vulnerable process. But committing to this work can undoubtedly help you feel better about yourself. When your past no longer has such a tremendous hold on you, your self-esteem often improves. 

Improving Relationships 

It’s no secret that our relationships play a crucial role in our emotional well-being. As a result, relationship difficulties can affect our confidence and self-worth. This is most apparent when it comes to close dynamics with family members or partners.

You and your therapist can work together to set realistic goals for increasing your relationship satisfaction. In individual therapy, this work might include recognizing your interpersonal needs and identifying healthier boundaries. 

Sometimes, it’s helpful to have other relatives involved in this process. In family or couples work, goals might include improving communication and strengthening emotional intimacy

Final Thoughts on How Therapy Can Boost Your Self-Esteem

Having healthy self-esteem is integral for living a fulfilling, meaningful life. With effort, practice, and dedication, you can improve how you feel about yourself and your life. This applies regardless of your past trauma or current mental health. 

Therapy can help boost your self-esteem and give you the tools you need. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation! 

Willow Counseling, PLLC, Nashville, TN

Willow Counseling, PLLC exists to provide quality trauma-informed mental health counseling to the Nashville community, recognizing the interconnectedness of our emotional, spiritual and physical selves. We work together to alleviate symptoms, learn better coping skills, relieve burdens, remove the pain of trauma, and so much more. However, our greatest desire is for you to know what it means to feel purpose and joy again and to recognize the strength and worth you have to offer the world.


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