Learn, Do Not Copy!

Links Between Identity, Self-Image & Self-Esteem

Silhouettes of individuals with question marks on their chests and the words 'What's My Identity?'

Your work is running a campaign to improve staff understanding of all aspects of person centred care.

You have been asked to create the following materials:

[Aiv] A hand out that explains the link between identity, self-image and self-esteem


Positive identity, self-image and self-esteem are necessary factors for an individual to have a good sense of well-being. In this handout, you will learn what each of these phrases mean and the links between them.


All individuals have two types of identity; their social identity and their personal identity.

Social Identity identifies the roles that we play in our life or the cultural groups that we belong to. Examples of social identity include father, teacher, English or Muslim.

Personal Identity is the things that are personal to us such as our goals, achievements, likes/dislikes, emotions, style, body image and behaviours.


Self-image is how we see ourselves and how we believe that others perceive us.

Our self-image may not reflect reality – an individual with anorexia may see themselves as being overweight, when in reality they are underweight.


Self-esteem is an evaluation of yourself based on your identity and self-image, which ultimately results in how you feel about yourself.

Self-esteem can be either positive or negative, resulting in high or low self-esteem respectively.

Examples of positive evaluations include:

  • I am handsome
  • I am smart
  • I am good at swimming

Examples of negative evaluations include:

  • I am ugly
  • I am stupid
  • I am rubbish at swimming


So, in summary, an individual’s identity is composed of all the characteristics that make that person unique.

An individual’s self-image is their perception of themselves based upon their identity.

An individual’s self-esteem is how they feel about themselves and how confident they are with themselves.

If an individual’s identity is repressed, this can directly affect their self-image and lower their self esteem.

For example, if an individual likes punk music but is told that they cannot dye their hair green, they may feel as though they are unable to express themselves and cannot have the self-image that they want. This can then have the knock-on effect that their self-esteem is lowered because they feel that they cannot be themselves.

Poster Explaining Factors That Can Contribute to the Well-Being of Individuals

Your work is running a campaign to improve staff understanding of all aspects of person centred care.

You have been asked to create the following materials:

Aiii       A poster that explains the factors which can contribute to the wellbeing of individuals


Physical Health (e.g. diet, sleep, exercise etc.)


Social (e.g. relationships with friends and family, opportunity to meet new people etc.)


Financial (e.g. having enough money, not overspending etc.)


Psychological (e.g. feeling safe, having someone to talk to etc.)


Cultural (e.g. being able to live the life that they choose, having views and opinions respected by others etc.)


Religious (e.g. having the freedom to practice their religious beliefs, having religious views respected by others etc.)


Self-esteem (e.g. feeling of belonging, being able to make a positive contribution to society etc.)


Political (e.g. living in a fair and democratic society, having political opinions respected etc.)



Handout Explaining the Importance of Person-Centred Values

Your work is running a campaign to improve staff understanding of all aspects of person centred care.

You have been asked to create the following materials:

[Aii] A hand out which explains why person centred values are important and how they influence social care work


Why Are Person-Centred Values Important?

Person-centred values are of the utmost importance in social care because they put the individual at the heart of their support.

It is based on the premise that an individual is the expert in what support they require and should work closely with health professionals and others including their family, relations and friends to devise the support plan that is best for them.

Person-centred values include:

  • Individuality – Everyone is an individual with their own needs, goals, beliefs and values.
  • Choice – Everyone should be free to make their own choices in life and be given the information they need to make decisions in a way that they can understand.
  • Independence – Everyone should be empowered to do as much as possible for themselves.
  • Rights – Everyone has human rights that should be respected and upheld.
  • Privacy – Everyone has the right to their own private space and time and their private information should only be shared on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.
  • Dignity – Everyone deserves to be treated in a dignified manner and time should be taken to ensure they are treated with dignity.
  • Respect – Everyone should have their thought, opinions and beliefs respected even if others do not agree with them.
  • Partnership – Everyone involved in an individual’s care should work together to achieve the best possible outcomes. This includes the individual, their families and health professionals.

How Do Person-Centred Values Influence Social Care Work?

With regards social care work, person centred values should be used to ensure that the care and support an individual receives is unique to them and that they are that the centre of the decision-making process.

Individuals should not be required to fit in with a ‘one size fits all’ system. They should not have to change the way they live to get support, the service provider should change their way of working to fit in with the individual.

The personal beliefs and opinions of the individual should be respected, even if employees of the service provider disagree with them.

Similarly, any decisions that an individual makes should be respected and they should be given the support to follow through with their decisions even if employees of the service provider deem them to be unwise or they go against their own personal beliefs.

Service providers must get to know the individuals that they are supporting in order to understand and provide the support that they need. As well as communicating with the individual, the service provider can get information from the individual’s family and friends as well as other health and social care professionals.

Poster Describing Person-Centred Approaches

Your work is running a campaign to improve staff understanding of all aspects of person centred care.

You have been asked to create the following materials:

[Ai] A poster which describes a range of person centred approaches to care




Do you communicate in the way your clients want to communicate?


Do your clients choose the activities that they participate in?


Do you promote freedom of choice for your clients?


Do you involve your clients in decisions about the support you provide?


Do you see your clients as individuals?


Do you encourage your clients to pursue their own goals, even if you do not agree with them?


If you can answer ‘YES’ to all these questions, Well Done! You are working in a person-centred way.

If not, please take a leaflet to learn more about person-centred approaches.