Self-esteem is the way we think, feel about, and value ourselves. It is formed in response to how we were treated by parents and caregivers. We learned even as infants to see ourselves as we were being seen. Research in early brain development has confirmed that a neurobiological reaction called “mirroring” occurs between the infant and the mothering-caregiver. When love, happiness and security are shown to the child, the child feels lovable, happy and safe, and exhibits the beginnings of self-esteem.
However, when babies grow up with rejecting, angry, unloving, and unresponsive caregivers, they learn to be guarded and afraid and to feel unlovable, unworthy, and defective. They learn to cope, defend, and survive, but they do not learn to have self-esteem. When babies are nurtured they learn resiliency and develop an internal model of a secure base from which to explore their world. They internalize confidence and self-respect. These patterns, healthy or unhealthy, continue as we grow and become intellectualized and more sophisticated. Fortunately the unhealthy patterns can be changed.
The work done at STAR to transform low self-esteem is powerful. The process identifies areas where you were loved and nurtured and builds upon these experiences. The areas causing low self-esteem are likewise identified, and by using valuable tools you learn to redirect the internalized dialogues. You discover the gift and capability of genuine self-esteem.