Self-Esteem, Self-Image & Disordered Eating Counselling

A healthy self-esteem boosts confidence, increases positive thinking, motivates social interactions and promotes exploration of an individual’s environment. Problems with mental health, such as depression and anxiety, can significantly impact the way one views themselves.

Self-esteem is defined as how we see ourselves, and our sense of self-worth. Low self-esteem can result from the way a child or youth views themselves or, to a greater extent, sees themselves as having little importance in their own lives, and the lives of others.

“The person is not the problem. The problem is the problem”. This quote from Michael White exemplifies how we externalize problems from children, providing them with the emotional space to look at what is causing them difficulty and distress. Children respond enthusiastically to this approach.

You are not your thoughts: Many youth have thoughts that are harmful to their self-esteem. We guide youth in externalizing thoughts and changing their inner dialogue to one that aligns with their values and preferred identity.

Using a strengths-based perspective, our therapists help children and youth re-story their narrative to one that is preferred. We all have a story we tell ourselves. These stories often define us and do not account for the hurdles we have overcome, and the resiliency we have demonstrated. Our therapists create space to identify those missing pieces to recreate a new, less problem-saturated story that enables the child or youth to view themselves differently.


Why is low self-esteem so important?

Feelings of unworthiness can result from poor self-esteem. This can have a ripple effect, impact one’s mood, decrease motivation for learning, prompt unhealthy coping mechanisms, and cause conflicts with peers. Subsequently, body image concerns and disordered eating, use of substances and self-harming behaviours can sometimes occur.

What are ways I can help my child to have healthy self-esteem?

Praise your child for their efforts, not just when they have successes. Encourage positive relationships, help them identify their strengths, show them they are valued and loved, encourage them to take risks and try new things, help them show kindness and compassion to themselves, and assist them in developing problem-solving skills and resilience.

What causes low-self esteem?

There are a limitless number of factors that can cause low self-esteem, but some include: the relentless pursuit of being “perfect”, bullying, academic stress, poor role-modelling, chronic negative feedback, and criticism. 

How is disordered eating related to self-esteem?

The way an individual views their body has a direct influence on their sense of self-worth. Societal and familial expectations about weight (whether implicit or explicit) can cultivate a poor self-image, and lead to an ongoing internal critical dialogue. 

How to become a client

To send a confidential message, please fill out our contact form or email us directly at Our administrative support team will contact you within one business day. Once we have assessed what your needs are we will connect you with a therapist that, we believe, is aligned with what you are looking for.