Self-esteem and confidence are often confused with each other. You can be confident in one area of your life and still, overall, have low self-esteem. For instance, you may be a wiz with math or be confident of your creativity, yet still have trouble asserting yourself in social situations.
Although low self-esteem isn’t itself a mental health disorder, having low self esteem raises your risk for mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. In addition, low self esteem makes your life harder than it should be because it prevents you from making decisions that prioritize your best interests.
At The Soho Center for Mental Health Counseling in Greenwich Village, Manhattan, New York City, our knowledgeable and caring counselors use a variety of therapies to help you improve your self-esteem and be more decisive in your everyday life. We provide both in-office and teletherapy sessions.
Fast, smart decision making is one of the traits that separates highly successful people from those who languish. How can you improve your self esteem and decide more quickly? Following are some treatments that help.
Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
With dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), you work with a counselor to learn how to accept yourself while at the same time focusing on the benefits of change. You learn how to direct your attention on the present moment instead of worrying about what may happen in the future or how others may judge you.
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a type of behavioral therapy that teaches you to stop avoiding, denying, or struggling with your inner emotions. You learn to listen to your own self-talk, identify how it’s stopping you from reaching your goals, and develop new, more optimistic behaviors that move you forward in life.
Gestalt therapy helps you explore your entire self in the present moment, without being bogged down by the past or trying to resolve former issues. Gestalt therapy may be quite active and include art exercises, role-playing, and re-enactment.
Compassion-focused therapy (CFT)
If you’re highly empathic and have low self-esteem, you may have more compassion for others than you do for yourself. You may therefore have difficulty asserting your needs in a relationship or in life in general.
Compassion-focused therapy (CFT) teaches you to accept yourself so that you can feel comfortable in your own skin, including comfortable with the decisions you need to make to improve your life. CFT therapy is centered in mindfulness and helps you quiet the “monkey brain” that makes you doubt yourself.
Mindfulness is simply paying attention to the present moment without obsessing about the past or worrying about the future. Techniques that promote mindfulness include deep breathing and meditation, both of which calm your nervous system. When you’re calm and centered, it’s easier to make good decisions quickly.
Solution-focused therapy (SFT)
Solution-focused therapy (SFT) helps you focus on solutions, rather than problems. With SFT, you imagine how your life will be different once you achieve a desired behavioral change. For instance, once you learn how to be more decisive, you can imagine yourself being taken more seriously at work or gaining respect from your loved ones and peers. Most SFT treatments are short term and work quickly.
Motivational interviewing is a type of therapy in which your counselor acts as your partner in helping you understand the way you think and how it’s hindering your happiness. They ask you open-ended questions that guide you toward the changes you want to make to improve your life. You also learn how to devise a plan that helps you achieve those changes.
Positive psychology is a type of treatment that helps you focus on your strengths, rather than your weaknesses. It helps you cultivate the qualities you need to achieve your goals, including the goal of making decisions confidently and quickly so that you can get what you need from your life.
Like SFT, interpersonal psychotherapy tends to focus on a single goal and is therefore a limited, short-term therapy. The focus is on solving a single problem or achieving a single goal (such as making decisions more quickly!). Your therapist acts as a cheerleader and support system as you go forth in the world and develop the skills you need to achieve that goal.
Start alleviating your anxiety about decision making by picking up the phone or using our online form to get help for self-esteem issues today.