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How Psychotherapy Can Boost Self-Confidence

Over the duration of psychotherapy, individuals, couples, and families will learn strategies to cope with difficult situations, recognize and address negative behaviour or thought patterns and evolve in both a personal and professional setting.

One common reason people seek therapy is to learn to become more confident and self-assured in their life. Psychotherapy plays an important role in helping us recognize our potential, seek new opportunities, and become more self-aware – all of which give us a huge boost of confidence in our abilities.

Read on as we explore the purpose of psychotherapy and how it can be utilized to boost our sense of self-confidence.

What is Psychotherapy and How Does it Work?

Psychotherapy is a type of intervention used to treat mental health problems by talking to a highly trained psychotherapist or social worker. Psychotherapy is tailored to the individual to eliminate troubling mental health symptoms, eliminate emotional suffering, and improve overall well-being.

Over the years, psychotherapy has transformed its practices as a self-help strategy not only for those who suffer from mental illness, but those who seek ways to discover their passions, align with their values, and reach their true potential.

There are a range of therapeutic approaches and techniques, psychotherapy can help to:

  • Build your self-esteem
  • Strengthen your coping mechanisms
  • Improve your social functioning
  • Enhance your quality of life

Through mechanisms such as cognitive restructuring, emotional regulation, insight and self-awareness, interpersonal effectiveness, and so on, individuals can experience positive emotional and behavioural changes that lead to healing and self-growth.

Psychotherapy and Self-Confidence: What’s the Connection?

Self-esteem is an essential factor in our well-being. Low self-esteem, which is characterized by feelings of self-doubt, shame, or inadequacy, can stop us from living the life we want. It may prevent us from cultivating fulfilling relationships, cause us to shy away from opportunities, and make us second-guess what we have to offer the world.

As the wise author Henry Stanley Haskins once said “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

Fortunately, psychotherapy serves as an excellent resource in helping individuals rebuild their self-confidence. Here are some of the many skills you’ll acquire during therapy.

You’ll Learn Self-Acceptance & Self-Respect

Self-acceptance refers to the act of recognizing and embracing oneself for who we are, including all our weaknesses or perceived imperfections. According to Harvard Health, self-acceptance has a profound effect on our physical and psychological well-being by means of disrupting the brain’s stress response and improving emotional regulation.

Similarly, self-respect can play an important role in our health. Defined as the feeling of pride or dignity in oneself, self-respect allows us to value ourselves, recognize our self-worth, and trust our judgment.

Boundaries play a crucial role in fostering self-acceptance and self-respect by demonstrating to ourselves that we value and honour our needs. Psychotherapy provides the necessary tools to begin setting boundaries that align with our authentic selves while also expressing confidence about our thoughts, feelings, and beliefs.

You’ll Learn How to Challenge Negative Thoughts

Negative self-talk is like a rainstorm that pours down on our thoughts and emotions, showering us with negative words and judgment.

Oftentimes, negative self-talk impacts our levels of self-acceptance and self-respect. When practiced often, it can cause us to fall into a downward spiral of emotional distress, demolishing our self-confidence and replacing it with doubt.

Negative self-talk can fall into any of the following categories:

  • Blame: “It’s my fault that the relationship ended, I must have done something wrong.”
  • Catastrophizing: “I’ll never find love again. I’ll be alone forever.”
  • Denial: “The relationship wasn’t even important to me, I don’t care that it ended.”
  • Overgeneralizing: “I always ruin relationships.”
  • Polarization: “I’m either unloveable or worthy of rejection.”
  • Projecting: “They broke up with me because I’m not good enough for them.”
  • Rephrasing: “This breakup does not define my self-worth; instead, it’s an opportunity for growth and to find a more compatible partner.”

As you can see from the examples above, only one of these versions is productive. Being able to recognize and reframe negative thoughts is important for our well-being. That being said, it can be difficult to do on our own.

In counselling, you’ll learn about the impact of self-talk, how to become aware of its influence, and most importantly, help you reconsider the way you speak to yourself. Mindfulness-based interventions are often used to help individuals become more aware and less critical about their thoughts, freeing them from the impact they have.

You’ll Learn Self-Compassion

Self-compassion is another integral component of self-confidence. Someone who is self-compassionate is willing to embrace their imperfections, challenge self-criticism, provide emotional support to others, overcome comparison or judgment, and cultivate a growth mindset.

There are three key ways to understand self-compassion:

  1. The first is to direct kindness inwardly, forgiving our own faults, mistakes, failures, or pain.
  2. The second is to recognize that no one is perfect and allow for failure to be a lesson in our journey toward self-discovery and growth.
  3. The third is to build awareness of our thoughts and become mindful of any painful emotions that surface without allowing them to take over.

With the right approach, counselling can generate more awareness about self-compassion and offer strategies to nourish your happiness. Ultimately, these tools are integral to developing a greater sense of optimism and confidence.

What about Online Therapy?

Research has found that in many settings, online therapy is as effective as in-person therapy for promoting mental health, healing, and personal growth.

Online therapy platforms are capable of utilizing a range of evidence-based therapeutic approaches that help challenge negative thoughts and empower individuals to become more self-confident. Some of which include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Person-Centered Therapy, and Psychodynamic Therapy.

Other benefits of using online therapy include:

  • Accessibility: online therapy allows individuals to access mental health services anywhere there is an internet connection – this is especially useful for those living in remote or rural areas, those struggling with mobility issues, and those with busy schedules.
  • Convenience: Individuals can now schedule appointments at times that are most convenient to them without having to worry about travelling to a therapist’s office.
  • Comfort: online therapy gives us the option to receive therapy from the comfort and privacy of our own homes which may be less anxiety-inducing compared to in-person sessions.
  • Flexibility: individuals can connect with therapists from different geographic locations in real-time to facilitate immediate support and feedback.

Key Takeaways

Psychotherapy is an excellent tool for anyone seeking to enhance their self-confidence and achieve a greater sense of fulfillment in life. 

Using a tailored approach, psychotherapy can help individuals acquire valuable skills such as self-acceptance, self-respect, challenging negative thoughts, and cultivating self-compassion. These skills empower individuals to overcome self-doubt while also recognizing their true potential.

Get started on your journey towards greater self-confidence by booking a free 30-minute consultation at On Your Mind Counselling. In the virtual therapy setting, our therapists utilize evidence-based approaches tailored to your specific situation, ensuring that you receive personalized guidance to overcome obstacles and nurture your self-confidence; all in the comfort of your own home!

Written by Robin Johal, MSW, RSW, HBA

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