Self-esteem or self-image are terms that are frequently bandied about but often not clearly defined.

The concepts of self-image and self-esteem are inherently interconnected.

Self-image is the internal picture we have of ourselves in all our different facets, e.g. how we view our body, our intelligence, social abilities, career, etc.

Self-esteem is the value we attribute to that self-image we see.

Elements of self-esteem include a wide variety of things that make up our lives, such as satisfaction with social and family life, feelings of worth and competence, feelings of being likable or lovable, and of course a sense of liking or loving oneself.

Most people struggle with these issues from time to time. Many of us received negative messages about our abilities, competence or even our very being in childhood, be that from a parent, teacher, other authority figure or our peers. Sometimes we spend much of our adult life trying to come to terms with those negative images, get rid of them, and replace them with something more positive.

Counseling can help us examine where the negative parts of our self-image and self-esteem came from, try to get a more objective view of them and finally begin to create a realistic foundation upon which a positive and loving self-image can be built.

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