Low Self-Esteem, self-help resources


Melanie Fennell

Melanie FennellDr Melanie Fennell is Course Director in an advanced cognitive therapy course for qualified healthcare professionals at Oxford University’s Department of Psychiatry. She was one of the first clinicians to introduce CBT to the UK and is a founder member of the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Centre, an internationally recognised centre of excellence in Cognitive Therapy and training.

Overcoming Low Self-Esteem is a classic self-help guide, now recommended as part of the NHS Books On Prescription scheme. It can help you to work, systematically and consistently, to challenge and replace these negative values.

Buy from Amazon (RRP £10.99)


Overcoming Low Self-Esteem self-help course

The Overcoming Low Self-Esteem self-help course has been adapted from Dr Melanie Fennell’s classic self-help guide Overcoming Low Self-Esteem. A series of modules in three parts, and based on clinically proven CBT techniques, the interactive course is designed around worksheets, charts and exercises in a step-by-step format ideal for you to follow alone or with professional assistance.

How the course works

The course will help you to understand how low self-esteem develops and what keeps it going, and then help you to make changes in your self-image so that you begin to feel more confident and accepting of yourself.

Part One 

  • What low self-esteem is
  • How it can affect your life
  • How it may be linked to other problems
  • What it is that keeps low self-esteem going 

Part Two 

  • How to recognize the anxieties and self-critical thoughts that lead to low self-esteem
  • How to identify your positive qualities
  • How to gain a more balanced view of yourself
  • How to start enjoying life 

Part Three 

  • How to break the vicious cycle of low self-esteem
  • How to establish a new set of positive Rules for Living
  • How to change your central beliefs about yourself
  • How to develop an Action Plan for the future


Example: Module 5 – Combating self-criticism

One of the keys to overcoming low self-esteem is to understand self-criticism and learn how to question and find alternatives to your self-critical thoughts. In this module you will:

  • Learn how self-critical thoughts occur, and how self-criticism is a learned habit that is harmful and self-defeating
  • Learn how to stand back from such thoughts, separating them from your true self, and how to question them and replace them with a more balanced and kindly image of yourself
  • Experiment with treating yourself positively, valuing your assets and talents in the same way you would those of another person

See sample pages from the modules

How to get started

The Overcoming Low Self-Esteem self-help course, written by Dr Melanie Fennell and published by Robinson as part of the Overcoming... series, is available to you as a set of three workbooks from Amazon.co.uk.

Buy from Amazon (RRP £21)

You can also download the course, module by module, direct to your computer in PDF format, and work through the modules at your own pace. Some modules are free of charge, others cost £2 each.

Each module builds on what has already been covered by previous modules. What you learn when working through one will help you when you come to the next. To get the most from the course, work through each module systematically, step by step.

Download modules in PDF format


Overall, this is an excellent publication by Melanie Fennell which I highly recommend, and I look forward to more workbooks from the ‘Overcoming’ series.

The Psychologist


What if I don't feel better?

There is nothing to lose by working on some or all of the modules; they will give you practical coping skills that you can use straight away. However, if you find that self-help alone is not meeting your needs (and this is sometimes the case), see your family doctor, medical practitioner or specialist therapist, who will offer extra support. If you do need to seek more help, it doesn't mean you have failed in any way; just that your difficulties are perhaps more complex.

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