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  • Writer's pictureEmily Kerr

From Fear to “Badassery”

Updated: Jan 16

My practice is well known for its focus on LGBTQ+ issues. However, I also love to work with young adult women who struggle with perfectionism, anxiety, confidence, assertiveness, and loving themselves. I myself have struggled with some of these issues, and, as a slightly older woman, it brings me joy to empower others and help them become the millennial badasses of the future!

Topics that often come up in this work include:

● Self-esteem and being hard on yourself

● Anxiety and excessive worry

● People-pleasing and being the "fixer"

● Difficulty with saying “no” and setting boundaries with parents/friends/partners

● Fear of the dreaded C word: confrontation

What most of these struggles have in common is the core belief that sustains them. Many of our fears and dysfunctional thoughts and behaviors are fueled by the popular belief that we are never good enough, are unlovable, and are fundamentally flawed. There’s a pattern in these beliefs. We often develop these beliefs at a young age, and over the years, they become increasingly pervasive and affect a multitude of areas in our daily life.

For decades, our culture has created an environment that tears young women down. This environment and belief system infiltrated the minds of girls and young women. It still does to this day, albeit things are much better than in previous generations. These girls grew up and became the mothers and grandmothers of today—perhaps your own mom. Although these women did their best, they may have passed these beliefs onto you, their own beautiful girls, causing doubt, pain, and a world of internal strife battling for confidence.

Ever wonder why it’s harder to take a compliment than a putdown? The putdowns support some of this negative core of self-doubt and devaluation while the compliment does not. Our dear friend, known in the therapy world as confirmation bias, then steps in and tells our brain to take what supports our belief system and ditch the rest. Unfortunately, the rest is the valuable positive information.

The incessant worry, the need to fix people and situations, the fear of saying no and upsetting someone all stem from this same place of generational and cultural hurt. I work with women, women like you, who struggle to find their voice in all of this pain and create a core belief that functions well for them. This core belief says I belong, I’m worthy, and I am perfectly imperfect just as I am. Doubt has no way of thriving in that culture, together we can snuff it out.

I invite you to join me in overcoming these challenges together; to improve self-worth, develop assertive communication, create lasting self-care routines, and a deep sense of loving-kindness.


Dr. Emily A. Kerr is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and owner of EK Counseling, LLC,a Denver therapy practice. With over thirteen years of experience treating individuals and couples, she brings her candor, humor, and motivation to each session. She specializes in eating disorders, body image struggles, sexuality and gender, life transitions, general anxiety, and building self-esteem. If you are struggling to make a transition, or you just need extra support to create lasting lifestyle changes, please call to schedule an appointment.

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