The Right Reflection: Improving Women’s Self-Acceptance

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



This capstone is about women and self-acceptance. The title, The Right Reflection, alludes to the fact that none of us see ourselves directly, only through the reflections of others. Sometimes women’s reflections are distorted due to destructive cultural messages that women receive and internalize and maladaptive thinking they then develop. Books as recent as The Confidence Code (Katy & Shipman, 2014) and concepts a bit older such as the Imposter Phenomenon (Clance & Imes, 1978) point to the reality that women view themselves as less-qualified, intelligent and deserving than men or other women. This capstone explores the role of low self-acceptance in this phenomenon. Topics covered include the concept of self-acceptance, how self-acceptance differs from self-compassion and self-esteem, what contributes to low self-acceptance in women (sex-role stereotyping, patriarchy, sexism), thinking styles that contribute to low self-acceptance in women (rumination, perfectionism, explanatory style), how low self-acceptance manifests in women (imposter phenomenon, lack of confidence), and actions that women can take to improve self-acceptance. This capstone will conclude with strategies to help women improve their self-acceptance and alleviate the suffering associated with low self-acceptance.


self-acceptance, sexism, perfectionism, imposter phenomenon, confidence gap


Counseling/Coaching, Well-Being/Flourishing


Literature Review



Date Posted: 19 December 2014