About Dr. Sorensen

Marilyn J SorensenDr. Sorensen has spent the last 38 years studying low self-esteem until in 1998, she wrote her first book, Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, a book that clearly outlines low self-esteem in a manner that has prompted rave reviews from readers and professionals worldwide.

Prior to publication of Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, Dr. Sorensen was already in the process of developing her highly effective Self-Esteem Recovery Program from which tens of thousands of people have benefitted and are now living more satisfying lives free from low self-esteem.

Two new books from Dr. SorensenUpcoming Books

Dr. Sorensen is working on two new books. Due out January 2017, the first one will likely be titled: The Sorensen Do-It-Yourself Low Self-Esteem Recovery Program.

Dr. Sorensen's second new book will be the story of her life; a story of growing up with LSE in poverty to developing the most highly-touted program for recovery from LSE today. 

Speaking Engagements

Dr. Sorensen decided in August of 2013 to quit traveling for Cross Country Education, after delivering 6-hour workshops to other mental health professionals in 60 major cities in the U.S., training them in her Self-Esteem Recovery Program. Since then, her books have spread around the world with orders now coming from over 45 countries.

She very much enjoyed working for Cross Country and is thankful for the opportunity they provided her to meet and share her work with so many wonderful people around the country and to witness how many mental health providers, in their many varieties of service, have begun to recognize the significance of low self-esteem in the lives of each and every individual. She says, "Furthermore, it was inspiring to see their dedication and their willingness to look at and incorporate new methods into their work."

Though Cross Country Education told Dr. Sorensen each of her last two years that they considered her one of their Top Tier Speakers, she, at age 70,decided to end the grueling 4-day tours that included 3 all-day workshops and travel inbetween. She continues, however, to work with individuals, couples and families throughout the world by Skype or phone.

Dr. Sorensen is also an International Speaker and presented earlier at an International Self-Esteem Conference in Southern California. In July of 2014, she was invited to come to Newfoundland, Canada, where she spoke to a group in Grand Falls/Windsor.

In addition to working with people from nearly every state in the Union, Dr. Sorensen has worked with people around the world by Skype including clients from England, Ireland, Spain, Scotland, France, India, Norway, Nova Scotia, Japan, South Africa, Singapore, Zurich, Mexico, Australia, Dubai, France, and Hong Kong & Greece.

She has spoken to mental health professionals and other interested professionals in 60 major cities in the U.S. and has been invited to come to Newfoundland in July to speak to a group of followers of her program, to do radio & cable TV interviews to support the work that is being done there by Myrtle Anstey using Dr. Sorensen's Recovery Program.

Summer of 2014, Dr. Sorensen decided to resign her Psychologist license, in order to save the cost involved in getting continuing education and licensing fees and because she had given up her Portland office. She now works under the title of Dr. Marilyn J Sorensen, Self-Esteem Recovery Specialist. She works on Skype out of her home. A Psychologist license is not necessary for the work Dr. Sorensen does. She works only with people who have issues around low self-esteem, which unfortunately is not a recognized diagnosis in the diagnostic manual used by all therapists, but is merely considered a symptom. Dr. Sorensen feels that this is wrong and thinks that many, if not most or all, of anxiety and depressive disorders are actually low self-esteem.

How This All Started

In 1980, after receiving her PhD, to a standing ovation from the student body, faculty and those in attendance, at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Dr. Sorensen founded Montavilla Counseling Services that became the largest private counseling center in the city. In 1995 she closed down the Center to go into private practice and established The Self-Esteem Institute where individual therapy, group therapy, and therapist training became available.

Dr. Sorensen finished her first book: Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem in 1998 and turned down an offer from Avalon Publishing, to their surprise, when she refused to give them the right to control the content or the title. She had little encouragement when she basically took a year off to write her book and even less with the idea of self-publishing, which she decided to do, taking classes to learn how to do so; thus Wolf Publishing came into existence. Later her brother became an owner of Wolf Publishing Co. sending out all book orders.

A week after publishing the book, she received a phone call from the attorney for Book-of-the-Month Club saying that they wanted to purchase the rights to her book for two of their divisions; shortly after that she received a call from Audio Literature which then purchased the rights to make the book into an audio book.

Early reviews said, stated it "contains ground-breaking insights,” “is the new bible of self-esteem,” “is highly recommended" and “ 'is life-altering" by therapists, readers and reviewers. They also laud Dr. Sorensen for her excellent writing skills. She then co-authored one book and quoted in many books by other authors who write about low self-esteem (LSE). Her Self-Esteem Questionnaire is one of the most frequently recognized tests utilized by graduate students, colleges professors and others currently studying this issue of low self-esteem around the world.

Many well-known professionals have written and studied the issue of low self-esteem. But while Dr. Sorensen's work may be less philosophical than that of others, her totally practical, simplistic Self-Esteem Recovery Program serves as a guide for those with low self-esteem. Her program is NOT FOR the purpose of just recognizing or labeling their problem, and then seeing psychiatrists for medication. She believes that medication is seldom, if ever, necessary. Instead she has developed a very practical program which has proven to be a solution that can lead to full recovery of this issue for those who are motivated and willing to regularly and consistently do the assignments she gives. By following her positive and insightful guidance, tens of thousands have recovered from LSE.

Dr. Sorensen says she loves doing this work and is renewed each time a client recognizes that their work together is really making a difference in his or her life. She shares that she has as many men in her practice as women, and has helped both men and women realize that low self-esteem is nothing to be ashamed of; but rather it is the result of early, negative life experiences and, or the lack of adequate guidance and support in the formative years. This recognition by self-esteem sufferers has freed many people to rid themselves of self-hate, ever-present anxiety, never feeling like they measure up, or finding it difficult to believe anyone likes or admires them.

She sees low self-esteem as a very serious issue that likely plagues the majority of people worldwide, and yet no other recovery program has been touted as so successful or so practical. To make this program available to everyone, she began doing phone therapy in 2005 and then added Skype which makes her sessions similar to being in the same room, no matter where they live.

Dr. Sorensen is a past contributing editor and columnist for the national magazine, SingleParents. She has been interviewed on many radio programs and has appeared on television in Newfoundland, California, Oregon, Las Vegas, and on OPB, and has been quoted in over 125 major newspapers, magazines and websites.

They include:

Websites-- Monster.com, MyPrimeTime.com, Discovery.com, ClubMom.com, Foxnews.com, Parenthoodweb.com, Healthgate.com, WeightWatchers.com, Office.com, DrDrew.com ...and many other papers, magazines, and online websites.

Apart from her work on self esteem, Dr. Sorensen enjoys gardening, camping, fishing, golf, reading, hiking, going to the beach, traveling (Great Britain; France; Denmark; Italy; Hawaii; Churchill, Manitoba;) and has spent time in most of the states. She enjoys movies, watching college football and basketball, art and art galleries, and her sidekick German Shepherd, Jake.

Awards and Honors

Top Author Of The Year, 2016-2017

IAOTP logoDr. Marilyn Sorensen, Published Author, Mentor, Counselor has been named "Top Author of the Year" for 2016-2017 by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP)!

While inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals is an honor in itself, only a few members in each discipline are chosen for this distinction. These special honorees are distinguished based on their professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, longevity in the field, other affiliations and contributions to their communities. All honorees are invited to attend the IAOTP’s annual award gala at the end of this year for a night to honor their achievements.

With over 38 years of professional experience studying low self-esteem, Dr. Sorensen has certainly proved herself as an accomplished professional and expert in the field. She has published 5 books, starting with her first book published in 1998, Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem, which caught fire and has sold in over 30 countries. It has been considered by many who have read it as the “Best Book” ever written on the subject.

Publishers in Italy, Japan, Greece and Korea quickly purchased the rights to translate Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem into their own languages and Wolf Publishing Company has also published the book in Spanish.

She has developed a recovery program for low self-esteem that continues to spread throughout the world and be adopted by therapists globally.

She has travelled to over 60 major cities in the US and Newfoundland, Canada to present workshops to other mental health professionals and has been invited to speak.

It started in 1990 when Marilyn became a Clinical Psychologist. After receiving her PhD in Clinical & Counseling Psychology from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, she started a counseling center in Portland, OR, that grew to be the largest private counseling center at the time; the Montavilla Family Counseling Center.

In 1995 she closed down the center and decided to disassociate herself from insurance membership. At that point, she saw the growing epidemic that the majority of people suffer from low self esteem, and she decided to open The Self-Esteem Institute. She remained licensed up until May of 2014 after turning 71 years old, and still continues to work with her clients all over the world thru Skype.

She is currently in the process of writing a DO IT YOURSELF SELF-ESTEEM RECOVERY PROGRAM and her life story, both of which will be available by the 2016 Winter holidays.

Dr. Sorensen has been recognized worldwide for her achievements and has received numerous awards.  Before she received her doctorate, Marilyn was honored by being selected as one of the "Outstanding Young Women of America" in 1997. She was also selected to be included in both the 1996 and 1997 Editions of Who’s Who, the Executive and Professional Registry, and as an Honored Professional in the US Nationwide Register of Who’s Who in 2000.

In 2014, Dr. Sorensen was selected to be featured as Outstanding Professional of the Year by Bristol Who’s Who for her perseverance of excellence in the industry.

At her graduation from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary, Dr. Sorensen was given a standing ovation by the student body, faculty, and those in attendance, and it was the only time that has ever happened in the history of the school.

Looking back Dr. Sorensen attributes her success to her perseverance and passion for her work and for her patients. The most rewarding part of her job is that she still gets emails and letters from people she worked with thanking her for guiding them to new realizations, better choices and more contentment with themselves. Dr. Sorensen says for the future she hopes to continue working with people and to continue to make a difference in people’s lives.


The International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) is an international boutique networking organization who handpicks the world’s finest, most prestigious top professionals from different industries.  These top professionals are given an opportunity to collaborate, share their ideas, be keynote speakers and to help influence others in their fields. This organization is not a membership that anyone can join.  You have to be asked by the President or be nominated by a distinguished honorary member after a brief interview. 

Dr. Sorensen Receives International Honor, 2014

Dr. Marilyn Sorensen

Dr. Sorensen has received a lovely cherrywood holder in which rests an engraved crystal plate with the following words:

Honors Marilyn Sorensen, PhD

As a member to appear in the 2014
Edition of Bristol Who’s Who Registry
of Executives & Professionals, having
pursued excellence, maintained perseverance,
and ascended to the summit of
professional accomplishment.


Outstanding Young Women of America

Before she received her doctorate, Marilyn was honored by being selected as one of the "Outstanding Young Women of America" (1997).

Who's Who in Executives and Professionals

Dr. Sorensen, was also honored to be included in both the 1996 and 1997 Editions of Who’s Who (US) in Executives and Professionals in the US, and as an Honored Professional in the US Nationwide Register of Who’s Who in 2000.