What we think about ourselves has a profound impact on how we live our lives and what we can accomplish. Therapy offers a way to understand who we really are and helps define what our true potential is.


Some of us engage in negative self-talk without even realizing it. “That was a stupid thing to say!” “You idiot!” “I could never achieve that.” “I can’t do anything right!” If these words sound familiar, you may have heard them for much of your life. Negative messages from others, especially parents, can become internalized, turning into automatic thoughts we tell ourselves. When you hear these messages long enough, they may quietly transform from others’ opinions into your opinion of yourself.

Self-esteem is how we value ourselves. Healthy self-esteem often evolves from positive messages that get communicated early in life. Having our positive qualities perceived and reflected back by others gives us the resilience to navigate life’s difficulties. When we know we are valued, we internalize positive messages like, “Go for it! You can do it. With practice, you’ll learn how.” Self-esteem also affects our relationships. For example, if you have come to believe you are unlovable, it can be difficult to feel secure with your partner.

What we think about ourselves and our capabilities has a profound impact on how we live our lives and what we can accomplish. Because negative messages tend to discourage us before we begin, we can fail to reach our potential by consistently underestimating our qualities and abilities. These failures to act tend to reinforce our pessimistic view of ourselves.

The truth is, these negative thoughts are rarely, if ever, accurate. Therapy can offer a way to understand who you really are and what you are capable of. It can help you tease out the negative messages from your own emerging and more accurate sense of yourself. A therapist can help you gain the confidence to meet life’s challenges and pursue the goals that matter to you.