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Low Self-Esteem and Loneliness

Low self-esteem

Low self-esteem is the most common issue I treat in my practice. For many people it begins in
childhood or adolescence and continues long into adulthood. Low self-esteem makes everyday life a very complicated and difficult assignment. Without faith in oneself, it is extremely difficult to make and maintain lasting friendships and partnerships. Low self-esteem often leads to anxiety, depression and isolation. When one does not have a healthy sense of self it can often seem like every one else is doing just fine, but you feel yourself unable to cope – even with the simplest of tasks. Often, we reinforce our ongoing sense of low self-worth with an unhealthy inner narrative. We tell ourselves we are lazy, boring, unintelligent, unattractive, clumsy, unreliable and unlovable. Often, these thoughts are supported by selectively chosen moments from our past that prove our inferiority. These false beliefs prevent us from feeling good about ourselves, others and life in general. I have worked with many clients on improving their self-esteem in a relatively quick period of time and in a sustainable way. Most of our negative assumptions about ourselves are not borne out by the facts. We are simply too hard on ourselves, but we perpetuate these ideas in our thoughts and words and, in doing so, it becomes our experience. I have helped many clients move from a place of low self-worth to a position of balance and positivity about themselves and the world around them. Using simple but practical psychological tools, I can help someone experiencing low self-esteem to move into a wholesome loving relationship with self. All of us have strengths and weaknesses. Coming to accept, trust and love oneself is one of the most powerful changes a person can make in their life. And it will not just make your own life better, but will improve the experience of everyone you are close to – partners, children, friends, family, colleagues and even strangers. Living a life of self-validation is a positive and powerful experience. And it is not a destination, but rather a journey of a lifetime. If you are experiencing low self-esteem and a lack of self-love, perhaps I can help you find a new way to live. You deserve a life that is balanced and fulfilling – a life in which you accept, trust and love yourself. And it is within anyone’s grasp. however low they may feel they have fallen.

Loneliness and isolation

Loneliness and isolation are a significant cause of emotional pain and suffering all over the
world. Our world is more accessible and more connected than at any time in history, and yet, there remain so many people that are more isolated and alone than ever. Social anxiety, low self-esteem, a sense of disconnect with others – all of these can result in ongoing pain and suffering, and a sense that loneliness is inevitable and everlasting. I have counselled many people for whom the issue of loneliness is the most significant ongoing problem in their lives. Why is it so hard to meet and connect with other people? Why do some people find it so easy to make friends, while others never seem to be able to create a positive and lasting connection with another person? It is a complicated problem without a simple answer. Counselling can help. With counselling, a person can explore the internal blocks that keep them from connecting with others in the real world. Past disappointments and relationship failures can create relationship anxiety, effectively blocking a person from making meaningful connections with others. Through counselling, we will work together to uncover the issues that underlie your loneliness. We will seek new strategies for building a life with meaningful social interaction and friendship that brings fulfilment and satisfaction.

Digital isolation

Digital isolation is a relatively new phenomenon. While the digital age has connected us with
others using incredible and ever-changing technologies, the digital age has also brought about a crisis of digital isolation in which people no longer connect with others directly, but are only comfortable engaging digitally via messaging, social media, etc. The warmness and closeness of direct human interaction can get lost in this age. And for many, this leaves a feeling of emptiness and isolation, even with 500 Facebook friends. Counselling can be very useful in helping someone overcome their digital isolation and begin to live a life that is both digitally active, but also includes a healthy level of direct and fulfilling human interaction.

Feeling Overwhelmed
and Experiencing Emotional Pain

Many people suffer through difficult life experiences, situations and relationships that result in emotional pain and suffering. Sometimes these unpleasant circumstances happened in the past. At other times, the troubling, painful or abusive situation may be ongoing. If you are experiencing persistent feelings of emotional pain, a sense of being overwhelmed, low self-esteem, imbalance, disconnection, emptiness or depression, then professional counselling may be a way forward to a better life, free of emotional suffering, helplessness, and disappointment.

As a counsellor, I help my clients deal with difficult emotions and life circumstances. We work together to find solutions that are both viable and practical. Sometimes the source of the suffering is obvious. At other times, it is necessary to explore a person’s circumstances and past life events to uncover the source of the pain. As a counsellor, I can offer you techniques and tools to help you process painful emotions and improve your experience of life. Finding a place of balance, peace and self-validation can be fundamental to living a life of purpose and satisfaction.

Suffering emotionally on a daily basis is a very difficult road. Through counselling, perhaps we can ease the burdens you bear, heal past traumas and find new coping mechanisms that allow you to lead a satisfying and purposeful life that is both healthy and sustainable.

Traumatic Events and Abusive Relationships

Traumatic Events

Traumatic Events are an inevitable part of life. The impact of traumatic events is very personal and varied. Often, we are unprepared for sudden drastic changes in our lives, or the lives of those we care about. Violence, abuse, neglect, illness, loss, change – all of these experiences can create emotional pain in a person. In many cases, a person’s coping mechanisms may be underdeveloped or simply overwhelmed by life events. With professional counselling, a person is able to explore and process these issues in a safe and confidential environment. I try to help my clients come to terms with traumatic events and find ways of coping that are healthy and sustainable. Counselling will not change the past, but it can help someone manage the difficult and painful emotions that arise in reaction to traumatic events.

Abusive Relationships

Abusive Relationships are very common and often very complicated. We may love someone deeply, but still feel abused on a regular basis – emotionally, psychologically, physically. Abuse is sometimes violent. In this case, I can offer a variety of intervention methods to end the physical abuse as soon as possible. But abuse can take on many other, more subtle, forms as well. Many times people feel stuck in abusive relationships and see no clear way out. At other times, a past abusive relationship is affecting a person’s current efforts to engage and grow close to others. Fear, anxiety and suspicion can undermine our desires to experience closeness with family, friends and partners. Through counselling, I try to assist a person in finding new perspectives and new mechanisms for managing current or past abusive situations. The feelings of helplessness and suffering can be analysed and managed. A new sense of personal control and security can be achieved. No one should be made to suffer abuse in a relationship. But sadly, it is all too common. Often, alone, a person may feel helpless to make a change. With the support one finds in counselling, these feelings of helplessness can be replaced by a sense of empowerment. Changes will be possible. A new future can be outlined and pursued. Abuse can end. Perhaps I can help you find a way out of your abusive past or present to a balanced, stable and satisfying way of living and loving that is not overshadowed by the fear and pain of abuse.

Alcohol abuse and
Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol abuse and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) are serious and widespread health issues. Alcohol is a major contributor to early death, in both men and women, around the world and across the socio-economic spectrum. Aside from the clear and far-reaching health issues associated with alcohol abuse, additional damage inevitably occurs in many areas including family relations, work, friendships, emotional well-being, sense of purpose and basic ability to function normally and happily. You don’t have to be a homeless person to have alcohol problems. Alcohol abuse affects men and women in all income brackets and from the teen years to the elderly. It is estimated that more than 10% of the adult population suffers from either alcohol abuse or AUD. If you’re looking at this page then you, or someone you care about, is experiencing problems with alcohol. Perhaps I can help. I have particular expertise in alcohol counselling related to my own personal issues with alcohol abuse. I have been there. I know how to get out. Perhaps I can help you find a way out the pain of a life dominated by alcohol. For more specific info on alcohol abuse and counselling.


Everyone experiences anxiety in one form or another. Mostly, the symptoms are mild and pass quickly. But for many people, various forms of anxiety impact their lives on a daily basis and can severely interfere with a balanced, fulfilling and happy life. Social anxiety is very common and mostly untreated. Anxiety about certain situations, such as public speaking, small spaces, physical closeness to others, doctor’s visits, sexual encounters, air travel, being alone, being in a group, receiving focused attention, feeling inadequate, self-loathing, shyness, fear of death, air travel – the list goes on and on.Essentially, anxiety is a reaction to feeling threatened in some way. It does not matter whether the threat is real, or simply perceived as being real. The fear arising from the threat creates the uncomfortable symptoms of anxiety which can manifest in many forms. Symptoms run across a large spectrum and can include mild to extreme nervousness, sweating, increased heart rate, general physical discomfort, a strong desire to escape, nausea, self-doubt, clumsiness, delusions ,depression, a desire for isolation and even panic attacks, which can render a person unable to function normally and create a powerful trauma. Some anxieties occur over a relatively brief period of time. Other anxieties, such as social, financial or relationship anxiety can occur incessantly over long periods of time. As a counsellor, I work with my clients to explore their anxieties and look at the possible solutions available depending on their specific life circumstances. Anxiety is highly treatable. With counselling, there are a number of very successful treatment methods including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and basic clarity and accuity over the perceived fear. Sometimes, simply getting the support and encouragement I offer in counselling can improve a client’s anxiety issues. In some cases, medication may be a very helpful tool. While I do not prescribe medication, I can give a general overview of the medical options a person might receive from their doctor or a specialist. I also have a highly qualified and talented local doctor I can refer clients to when necessary.
Many people get anxious about getting anxious. In other words, just the idea of discussing their anxiety can bring about heightened anxiety. I understand. I have been there. Know that I have my own anxiety issues that I deal with. We all do. Perhaps I can help you with yours. I offer support, encouragement and solutions. Perhaps we can find a way for you to live a life free of the burden of anxiety.


Life is complicated. Many factors can lead to depression in a person’s life. It is nothing to be ashamed of and is highly treatable. Counselling is one avenue of treatment for someone experiencing depression in their life.
What Is Depression

Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors. People who have gone through adverse life events (unemployment, bereavement, psychological trauma) are more likely to develop depression. Depression can, in turn, lead to more stress and dysfunction and worsen the affected person’s life situation and depression itself.

  • Depression is a common mental disorder.
  • Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression.
  • Depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
  • More women are affected by depression than men.
  • Depression can lead to suicide.
  • There are effective psychological and pharmacological treatments for moderate and severe depression. (source: World Health Orginization)
Common symptoms of depression:
  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping.
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, perhaps I can help you identify the source of your problem and suggest a course of treatment that can lead to a more fulfilling, sustainable and satisfying life. Living with depression is painful and debilitating. Perhaps, through counselling, we can find a way to alleviate your pain and find a new way of thinking and living that brings you joy and satisfaction.

Couples’ Counselling

Marriage and partnership can be a beautiful, practical and deeply fulfilling way of life. Of course, partnerships have both good and bad days. This is to be expected and is perfectly normal. However, there are times in a partnership, where one or both parties have reached an emotionally troubling place that may benefit from professional intervention.

As a counsellor, I try to help couples identify both the source of their current problems, as well as the strengths inherent in their relationship. Disappointment, anger, mistrust, separation and frustration can be replaced with kindness, closeness, patience, openness, tenderness, cooperation and acceptance. Relationship problems usually develop slowly, over the course of a relationship. There are times, however, where there may be a specific triggering event or situation that has created the need for counselling. Being a couple is not always easy. Often, it can seem impossible. Counselling can help.If a couple has decided to seek counselling, then it is already a clear indication that the partners seek healing, balance and renewed closeness. Counselling provides a safe and private environment for couples to express their feelings, listen to their partner’s perspective and receive a balanced and objective reference point. Sometimes, just being empowered to fully express one’s feelings can make a big difference for a couple experiencing problems. Understanding that there are methods of confronting and managing the stress of partnerships can help restore confidence and closeness. I offer my experience as a counsellor, as well as more than 20 years of personal experience, in my couples’ counselling. If both parties seek resolution, then I believe a way forward can be found. If I can help in any way, then my office and resources are at your service. If we feel our cooperation can be useful for your particular situation, then we will make a therapy plan. There is no obligation or expectation from my side. I offer you hope and the confidence of my past experience in helping other couples reconnect after facing difficult and painful circumstances. Perhaps I can help you rediscover the joy of closeness and fulfilment that is found in a grounded and balanced partnership or marriage.