Facing the challenges of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence, individuals often seek therapy as a resource to foster positive self-perception and enhance their sense of self-worth. In this article, we’ll explore the dynamics of a therapy session focused on self-esteem and confidence building, using a hypothetical example. Additionally, we’ll examine the structure of the therapeutic process and outline the desired outcomes for both the individual seeking therapy and the therapist.

A Snapshot Of A Therapy Session

Scenario: Meet Sarah, a 30-year-old professional grappling with self-esteem issues impacting her personal and professional life. Seeking therapy to enhance her self-worth, Sarah connects with Dr. Lewis, a therapist specialising in self-esteem and confidence building.

1. Initial Contact and Assessment: Sarah reaches out to Dr. Lewis to discuss her challenges with self-esteem. Dr. Lewis conducts an initial assessment to understand the nature of Sarah’s struggles, the contexts in which they arise, and the goals she aims to achieve through therapy.

2. Introduction and Setting Expectations: In their first session, Dr. Lewis creates a warm and supportive space.
They discuss the therapeutic process, establish expectations, and emphasise the collaborative nature of their work together.

3. Identifying Negative Thought Patterns: Sarah begins to explore and identify negative thought patterns that contribute to her low self-esteem. Dr. Lewis employs cognitive-behavioural techniques to help Sarah recognise and challenge these thoughts, fostering a more positive and realistic self-perception.

4. Recognising Strengths and Achievements: Therapy sessions focus on recognising and celebrating Sarah’s strengths and achievements. Dr. Lewis guides Sarah in acknowledging her capabilities and successes, promoting a sense of pride and confidence in her abilities.

5. Setting Realistic Goals: Collaboratively, Dr. Lewis and Sarah set realistic and achievable goals that contribute to building self-esteem. These goals may range from personal accomplishments to professional milestones, providing a roadmap for positive growth.

6. Addressing Root Causes: Therapy involves exploring the root causes of Sarah’s self-esteem issues. Dr. Lewis helps Sarah delve into past experiences or influences that may have shaped her self-perception, working towards a deeper understanding and resolution.

7. Building Positive Self-Talk: Cognitive restructuring techniques are applied to help Sarah develop positive self-talk. Dr. Lewis assists Sarah in replacing self-critical thoughts with affirming and empowering statements, fostering a more compassionate internal dialogue.

8. Skill Development and Assertiveness Training: To enhance confidence, therapy includes skill development and assertiveness training. Dr. Lewis provides guidance on effective communication, boundary-setting, and expressing needs, empowering Sarah to navigate various social and professional contexts.


Structure Of The Therapeutic Process

1. Assessment and Goal Setting: Initial sessions involve a comprehensive assessment of self-esteem challenges and collaboratively setting achievable goals. The focus is on understanding specific areas of difficulty and establishing a framework for positive growth.

2. Cognitive Restructuring: Therapy addresses negative thought patterns through cognitive restructuring. Techniques are employed to challenge and transform self-defeating thoughts into more constructive and affirming beliefs.

3. Strength Recognition: Sessions concentrate on recognising and celebrating strengths and achievements. Therapists guide individuals in acknowledging their capabilities and successes, contributing to a more positive self-perception.

4. Realistic Goal Setting: Collaborative goal-setting includes identifying realistic and achievable objectives. These goals serve as milestones for positive growth, providing individuals with a sense of direction and accomplishment.

5. Exploration of Root Causes: Therapy involves exploring the root causes of self-esteem issues. Therapists guide individuals in understanding past experiences or influences that may have contributed to low self-esteem, facilitating a process of healing and resolution.

6. Positive Self-Talk Development: Cognitive restructuring techniques extend to developing positive self-talk. Therapists help individuals cultivate a more compassionate internal dialogue, fostering self-encouragement and affirming beliefs about their capabilities.

7. Skill Development and Assertiveness Training: Therapeutic interventions include skill development and assertiveness training. This equips individuals with effective communication tools, boundary-setting skills, and the confidence to express their needs in various social and professional settings.

8. Progress Evaluation and Adjustment: Regular check-ins allow therapists and individuals to assess progress. Adjustments to therapeutic strategies are made based on experiences, ensuring the ongoing relevance and effectiveness of interventions.

Desired Outcomes For Both Client And Therapist

For the Client:

  • Improved Self-Esteem: Enhanced self-worth and a more positive self-perception.
  • Recognising Strengths: Increased awareness and acknowledgement of personal strengths and achievements.
  • Goal Attainment: Achievement of realistic goals contributing to positive growth.
  • Understanding Root Causes: Deeper insight into the root causes of low self-esteem, fostering healing and resolution.
  • Positive Self-Talk: Development of a more compassionate and affirming internal dialogue.

For the Therapist:

  • Observation of Progress: Witnessing tangible advancements in the client’s self-esteem and confidence.
  • Effective Cognitive Restructuring: Successful application of cognitive restructuring techniques in real-life situations, indicating practical integration of therapeutic insights.
  • Successful Closure: Recognising when the client has achieved their goals and is equipped with tools for continued positive growth.


Engaging in therapy focused on self-esteem and confidence building is a transformative process that empowers individuals to cultivate a positive self-perception and embrace their capabilities. As therapists guide clients through this journey, both parties contribute to a dynamic relationship that promotes self-discovery, resilience, and the gradual enhancement of confidence. Whether someone is seeking therapy for the first time or continuing their path of self-improvement, the exploration of self-esteem is a powerful and ongoing process, rich with opportunities for personal transformation.