Overcoming Low Self-Esteem Course

The Overcoming Low Self-esteem Course is a 9 week course which interweaves the principles of Compassion into a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy approach. This course is particularly helpful in managing self-criticism, worry, avoidant or unhelpful behaviours associated with low self-esteem.  The course will also help you to regulate your emotions by learning how to activate your self-soothing system.

Life as we know can be very tough and often the emotions we experience in relation to these stressful life events are expected and normal, but can be unpleasant! At some point in our life we will all face difficult challenges (e.g. rejection) and it is understandable that we might feel upset and hurt by this. If we can’t escape these challenges, then it is important that we have some tools to manage the emotional distress associated with them and consider how we can think and behave in a way that is compassionate and caring towards our own suffering.

Week 1 – An introduction to low self-esteem (It’s not your fault)
This session will help you to make sense of the development of low self-esteem. Nobody is born with low self-esteem so we consider the role of environmental and biological factors.

Week 2 – What keeps low self-esteem going?
We look at the maintenance factors for low self-esteem, focusing on the role of your thoughts and behaviours.

Week 3 – Challenging negative thoughts and introducing emotional regulation
In this session we introduce two interventions, thought challenging and coherent breathing.

Week 4 – Behavioural Experiments
If we act as if our negative thoughts are true then they will always feel true. We will help you plan a behavioural experiment to challenge one of your unhelpful behaviours which might be contributing to your low self-esteem.

Week 5 – Managing self-criticism using CBT and self-compassion
In this session we explore the reason for self-criticism and then introduce an alternative more helpful compassionate language.

Week 6 – Developing Self-Compassion
This session includes both imagery and mindfulness to help develop your compassionate self and also build on your ability to tolerate emotional distress.

Week 7 – Managing unhelpful Behaviours
Understanding Low Mood; interaction between low mood and behaviour, and how to break free of this cycle.

Week 8 – Changing rules & creating healthy core beliefs
Creating a new healthy/flexible guideline, looking at how you want to live your life.

Week 9 – Relapse management and planning for the future
Bringing everything together, reflecting on management of relapse and recapping course content.