Clients who come to therapy experiencing emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety often have critical self-talk and low self worth. The key principles of Self-Compassion therapy are to motivate the individual to care for their own well-being, to become sensitive to their own needs and distress, and to extend warmth and understanding towards themselves.
For those who struggle with self-esteem/self-love, this task may seem impossible. No matter how hard they try, no matter how many times they hear it from others, they simply cannot seem to believe they are good enough. They may be able to convince themselves in their minds, but they cannot feel it within themselves. Instead they often feel not good enough, anxiety, self-doubt, emptiness..anything but love, happiness and peace.
Being unable to love yourself, you may seek validation from other people, food, substances and so on but it will never fill you up.
How Therapy Can Help With Self-Esteem
People often are unable to love themselves because of distorted thought processes. They might believe, for example, that unless they achieve success in a specific field or have a perfect romantic relationship, they are unworthy of love. Cognitive therapy often focus on correcting these thought distortions to improve a person's ability to love themselves and develop self-compassion. Early experiences, such as trauma, abandonment, uncaring parents, or the breakup of a relationship can also cause people to feel that they are unworthy of love and struggle with low self-esteem. Therapy can help people uncover the reasons for their lacking self-love and help them understand why early experiences do not have to lead to a life of self-loathing.
Andrea uses tools from Cognitive Therapy (CBT), Emotionally Focused and Self-Compassion Therapy to help clients develop a more loving, accepting and compassionate view of themselves.