& Teenage Girls
Body-image Issues for Women and Girls
Throughout our lives as women, we are told both indirectly and directly, how we should look and act. We receive messages from our culture, social media, our friends and family, and even from our partners that there is an ideal beauty that should be strived towards. This can cause women and teenage girls especially to become pre-occupied, self-conscious, and anxious about the way we exist in the world. The less acceptance we have for ourselves the more likely women are to feel depressed and to engage in unhealthy coping strategies to deal with these persistent and heavy feelings. Sometimes this may come in the form of over or under-eating, drinking, or having problematic relationships that may only reinforce these feelings towards ourselves. It may be hard to see that the way out is not through constant changing of our external appearance but rather understanding the mechanisms that got us to feel this way about ourselves in the first place. Although it may be difficult, the goal then becomes to honor and accept ourselves, just the way we are, at any moment of our life. This results in more peace, better relationships, more healthy expression of emotions, and greater self-love and self-esteem.
Self-esteem and Anxiety in Teenage Girls
Teenage girls suffer the most from issues with self-esteem and self-image. In fact, girls ages 10-18 are particularly susceptible to anxiety disorders. Hormones may be one cause by way of changing the chemicals that can effect mood causing irritability, sadness, agitation, and restlessness. As we know, hormones also can change a young women's body that might make her feel self-conscious and different. Other causes for anxiety and self-esteem issues in teenage girls include social comparisons, bullying, impacts of social media, high personal standards and expectations for achievement, friendship stress, identity issues, and lowered feelings of self-worth, and issues in romantic relationships. In general, girls tend to internalize their problems, often blaming themselves for setbacks and challenges leading to more emotional turmoil, stress, anxiety, and depression. Oftentimes, the goal of therapy is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for adolescent girls to express their emotions, explore their unique strengths and identity, and discover effective ways of coping.
Some Benefits of Therapy for Body-image and Self-esteem
More stable and secure sense of self
Better physical and mental health
Less social comparison and jealousy
Healthy romantic relationships
Better performance at school and/or work
Improved healthy coping skills
More self-worth and confidence
My Approach to Body-image and Self-esteem Issues
I received specialized training in Women's Health through the Neuroscience and Women’s Health Clinic at Stanford University School of Medicine where I studied women's mood and anxiety disorders. Most women feel social pressure and struggle with self-esteem at some point in their lives. At times, the way we feel about ourselves can become so negative that it impacts our daily lives.
In my office in Orange County or San Diego, I provide non-judgmental, client-centered therapy to women and teenage girls, focusing on self-empowerment. In therapy, you will find deeper understanding and acceptance for yourself, learn how to deal with external pressures, and discover your own unique value.