DEFINITION & MEANING – SELF-ESTEEM
This was a question the great psychotherapist and father of CBT Albert Ellis attempted to answer decades ago. In answering it, he acquired a critical insight. He had been exploring how best to assist patients increase their self esteem with conditions such as depression. This led him to analyse what the term meant , and therein his journey of discovery began. He realised that the issue was not how best to increase self-esteem , but rather the belief that it could be defined or measured at all. Ellis’s insight was that we are attempting to define and measure something that is non-existent. And we are making ourselves anxious , depressed and ashamed in the process.
Despite this insight , we continue to use words like self-worth and self-esteem as if they are definable or measurable concepts. If asked to define on paper the term’ self – worth’ , it should…
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