When You Feel Absolutely Awful About Yourself—Regularly

Many of Ariella Cook-Shonkoff’s clients are convinced there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. They believe they’re broken or damaged. They believe they’re not good enough. They yearn to be like everyone else. They believe they deserve to suffer because of who they are. Priscilla Rodriguez’s clients believe that because of their bad decisions or mistakes, they don’t deserve to be treated well, or to live a good life. Do you believe this, too? Do you feel the same way? Self-esteem issues don’t discriminate. They’re “present across all demographics — culture, race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomics,” said Cook-Shonkoff, a licensed marriage and family therapist and registered art therapist who specializes in treating low self-esteem in kids, teens, and adults in Oakland and Berkeley, Calif. Low self-esteem can show up in subtle ways on a regular basis. Maybe you beat yourself up for something as small as forgetting to respond to a phone call, Cook-Shonkoff said. Over

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