Self-concept by Washington DC Psychologist, Dr. Lynn Friedman

Self-concept refers to the way in which we see ourselves: emotionally, intellectually and physically. Much of our self-concept is established early in our lives (ages 0-6).

How self-esteem develops

A twinkle in the mother's eye

We receive messages from our primary caretakers (typically our parents) and from others in our world's regarding who we are and how we are seen. When we coo or take our first step, the twinkle our parent's eyes lets us know that we are special. In an ideal world, our mother*, or our primary caretaker gets to know us. Over a short period of time, she (or he) can differentiate between an, "I'm hungry", cry, an "I'm angry", cry, a, "I want to play", cry, and an, "I'm wet", cry, etc. And, in general, she responds empathically to our cries. Feeding us, calming us, playing with us, and diapering us; she let's us know that the world is generally a safe place in which we will get our needs met.

  • No twinkle in the mother's eye
  • Mothers are not the only primary caretakers
  • Self-esteem may still be intact with an attentive caretaker
  • The development of narcissistic and self-esteem difficulties
  • Low self-esteem and difficulties with self-assertion
  • Self-esteem and narcissistic difficulties are treatable
  • Seeking a consultation with Washington DC psychologist Dr. Friedman? Feel free to give her a call at: 301.656.9650

    5480 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD, 20815
    (1/2 block from the redline, Friendship Heights Metro)


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