Self-esteem course

Do you sometimes wake up dreading the day? Or feel down about what you have accomplished in your life so far? Or worry about making a mistake or failing that you don’t even try?

Firstly, we’ve all done it and we all do it. We listen to those negative thoughts we say about ourselves, but what’s worse is that after a while, we start to believe them, because the mind can be very convincing when it wants to be. But you don’t have to accept those thoughts. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to challenge those thoughts and start to believe in you again?


Women Empowered runs an 11 week programme for women which is run by our internal team and overseen by none other than the US based Therapist – Dawn O’Meally with 22 years of experience in running these courses.

We also runs an 11 week programme for men which is run by Dr. Brandon Vance, a well-known and respected psychiatrist based in California.


Who is the course for?

To our knowledge, this is the first time a course of this kind is available within the UK. We first ran this course in August 2021 because one of our supporters asked for assistance with improving her self-esteem. We searched for a scientifically-backed affordable solution and we discovered Dr. Burn’s book & a US-based therapist with 22 years of experience running the course. An initial group was run in August 2021 free of charge and it proved the life-changing impact of the course. Therefore, we have continued to run it since.

This course is aimed at anyone, but it would be specifically helpful to those who may need help with worrying, self-criticism, avoidance and procrastinating behaviours. All of these affect our self esteem and how we feel about ourselves.

This course will give you tools to challenge those negative thoughts and behaviours and will help you to talk to yourself, like you’re your own best friend.

We now run this course for women and for men. Please visit the course schedule page for upcoming sessions.

We spend so much time living in our own heads, let’s make it a nice place to be.


The course

The book contains 10 steps. Each step teaches us “specific ideas and techniques to overcome distressed feelings such as loneliness, depression, guilt, and inferiority”. We will discuss and evaluate each step during our sessions.

20 participants will be selected for the entire course. You will be required to sign consent forms and commit to:

  1. Confidentiality
  2. Completing the daily homework
  3. Attending every Sunday on time


Does it work?

This course is backed by clinical studies indicating that 70% of participants had incredible improvements in their mood and anxiety. Our own internal assessments have also shown that more than 76% of our participants have experienced incredible improvement in their mood and over 80% have experienced improvement in their anxiety.

On a weekly basis, you will complete 3 self-assessment tests:

  • Burns Depression Checklist (BDC): This measures feelings of sadness, discouragement and inferiority
  • Burns Anxiety Inventory (BAI): Measures feelings of worry and nervousness
  • Relationship Satisfaction Scale (RSAI): Measures how close you feel to others

Take a look at the table of results of the BDC and BAI scores of two previous groups on the course.

Download course results



To register for our next Women’s only self-esteem course, please complete this form

To register for our next Men’s only self-esteem course, please complete this form

If you have any trouble completing these forms or to obtain more information, please email us at


Week by week

Week 1


Introduction to you, your fellow participants, Dawn, and the book. You will meet your fellow participants and begin to introduce yourselves to the book and discuss why you decided to join the course.

You will also look at your personal mental health scores.


Week 2

The price of happiness

You will learn how to measure your moods as well as satisfaction in your relationships.

You will identify personal goals for this experience and share this with the group.


Week 3

You feel the way you think

You will discover that distressed feelings come from illogical thinking and you can change the way you feel.


Week 4

You can change the way you feel

You will learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy feelings.

You will learn how and what to do when you break into a bad mood.


Week 5

How to break out of a bad mood

This week you will learn several techniques that can help you change the way you feel, we will look at:

  • Attitude cost benefit analysis
  • The experimental method
  • Examine the evidence
  • The Survey method.


Week 6

The acceptance paradox

You will learn about a powerful method for modifying negative thoughts – called the externalization of voices. You will need a mirror!


Week 7

Getting down to the route causes

We will discuss and learn about how self-defeating attitudes and beliefs can make you vulnerable to painful mood swings and conflicts.

You will learn how to identify your own self-defeating beliefs and develop a personal value system.


Week 8

Self-esteem – what is it and how do I get it?

  • What is low self esteem?
  • What are the consequences of low self esteem?
  • What should your self esteem be based on?
  • How do I develop unconditional self esteem?


Week 9

The perfectionist’s script for self-defeat

This week we will learn about several types of perfectionism. We will learn about the price we pay for being a perfectionist, along with the hidden benefits.

We will discover the illogical thinking patterns that cause perfectionism.

We will explore accepting our flaws without shame.


Week 10

A prescription for procrastinators

This week we will learn about the ten characteristics of people who procrastinate.

You will discover the hidden benefits of procrastination.

You will learn how to attack procrastination and become a more productive person.


Week 11

Practice, practice, practice!

In the final week, we will assess just how far you have come and celebrate your progress.

We will also look at how to overcome relapses and deal successfully with mood swings and enjoy greater self-esteem.


Week 12


After the course has been completed, it has become a tradition for all the participants to meet up and celebrate their progress with everyone else.

You will receive a breakdown of all your scores and a certificate of completion.


About the book

Dr. David Burns is the author of five books including the bestselling Feeling Good and Feeling Good Together. He is an Adjunct Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine and has served as Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School. In February 2008 Dr. Burns and Feeling Good was featured on the BBC’s Imagine series (first episode).

In this book’s introduction, Dr. Burns explains a study of 3000 patients most of whom had “multiple psychiatric problems, including severe depression, anxiety, and personality disorders”. He explains that, after reading his prior book, Feeling Good, “most patients had improved substantially and were free of depression by the time of discharge”. He highlights studies that show both short-term and long-term improvements. Dr. Burns adds that this book is not just for individuals with a psychiatric diagnosis. Rather, “on any given day, probably twenty-five million Americans feel down in the dumps” and “a little mental tune-up with these methods may be sufficient for many people”. In addition, this book can be used for educational purposes in order “to prevent serious depressions in children and adolescents with a tendency toward negative thinking”.

Buy the book


When’s the next course?

The find the next available course date, please visit our course schedule page.

“It's been amazing. I can't recommend it enough.”

Meet Sarah, Sarah was a participant on the first cohort run in 2021

“It’s enabled me to rewire my negative thinking.”

Meet Rayanne, Rayanne was a participant on the second cohort run in 2022