Reflecting the True Self: Defense Mechanisms and the Quest for Authentic Self-Esteem

artistic illustration of a woman holding her head with overlapping shapes and colors reflecting different defense mechanisms

Imagine a scene: a grand, dimly lit ballroom filled with dancers gliding across the floor. Among them, a solo dancer moves with a grace that captivates everyone’s attention. However, unlike the others, this dancer’s face is hidden behind an elaborate, ornate mask. With each twirl and step, they adjust the mask, ensuring it stays in … Read more

People Pleasing: A Journey from Self-Neglect to Self-Respect

abstract illustration of a woman

Imagine Sarah, a young professional known by her colleagues and friends as the ‘go-to’ person for everything. Whether it’s staying late at work to help with a project or organizing social gatherings, she never says no. Her life appears full and rewarding, a bustling journey of continuous support for those around her. But late at … Read more

Approval Seeking: Breaking Free from the Maze of External Validation

illustration of a woman bowing her head seeking approval from someone else

Imagine for a moment that you’re navigating a labyrinthine maze with towering walls and narrow, winding passageways. With each step, you’re greeted by signs—some pointing toward “Acceptance,” others toward “Rejection.” Your heart pounds as you make each decision, partly guided by the ever-watchful eyes painted on the walls, their gaze following your every move. It’s … Read more

Journey to Your Authentic Self: A Guide to Self-Discovery

illustration of a man hiding his authentic self behind a mask

Picture this: You find yourself in a grand ballroom adorned with crystal chandeliers and golden drapes. The air is thick with the scent of roses and the murmur of masked guests engaged in polite conversation. You, too, are wearing a mask, intricately designed to conceal your true identity. As you mingle and exchange pleasantries, you … Read more

Esther Perel on Fitting In vs. Belonging: A Cross-Cultural Dilemma

painting of two women having a conversation

The pursuit of self-love and fulfillment often requires navigating different cultural values and expectations. This dilemma is poignantly explored in a counseling session on the popular podcast “Where Should We Begin?” between renowned therapist Esther Perel and a caller of Pakistani descent. On the show, Perel engages in one-time intervention calls to help couples and … Read more