Self Esteem & Body Image
Freeing ourselves from the shame that binds.
Getting comfortable in our skin is not easy. We may feel disconnected or feel a great deal of shame and worry about how we may be perceived by others. In the bedroom, this could further alienate partners.
We're here to help you embrace yourself and love your body.
The way we view our bodies and the way we view ourselves is likely to be tied to each other. The people we interact with may judge us for how we present ourselves and factors we cannot control for how we look (for example, our gender, race, or any physical disabilities). This judgement can become internalized, where we start judging ourselves unfairly based off of how others have judged us in the past. Part of this internalization process is a stigma against discussing these experiences with other people. The silence around having a negative self-esteem or negative body image typically can make the problem worse, as we assume those around us do not deal with these issues as well.
The advent of social media does not make this problem any better. With the constant influx of positive news from your peers you might compare yourself against the unfair version of your peers that they present online. People typically don’t post unflattering photos of themselves, and all the new ways of filtering and touching up photos can make living with our real bodies very difficult.
This sense of negative self-esteem and body image often spills over into sex. Many people become self-conscious over their body size, shape or its particular attributes which may further alienate us from connecting or fully embracing it. Weight gain, scaring, body aging, and other perceived barriers may make us feel unattractive and undesirable. For many individuals with gender dysphoria, being aware of one’s genitals can make even the thought of having sex incredibly distressing. For individuals with eating disorders or body dysmorphia, the thought of being perceived by others can also be extremely unsettling.
At the Love Discovery Institute, our certified sex therapists can help you discover new ways to appreciate and admire both the shape and functionality of your body. Grounding yourself in your body can be the first step towards achieving greater overall self-esteem and a healthier body image. The therapeutic work we can do can also be extended to couple’s therapy, where both partners can process their shame, but also rekindle the erotic connection between the two.