What is Imposter Syndrome (IS)?


Imposter syndrome can be broken down into two key components:

  • A person’s sense of fraudulence, typically in terms of career, academic performance, or social standing, coupled with a lingering, underlying fear that at any moment, they may be exposed as the imposter they feel they are.
  • A person’s tendency to attribute their success(es) to ‘luck’, rather than their own hard work, and so an uncomfortable feeling emerges when their achievements are acknowledged.

Imposter syndrome is also considered to be a consequence of and contributor to a further 4 troublesome areas:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Perfectionism
  3. Self-doubt / low self esteem
  4. Extreme fear of failure

Imposter syndrome is very common, it is estimated to affect about 70% of people at some point. We know it effects all races, ages, occupations, and classes, but appears to affect women, men who are more self-aware and ethnic minorities, more.

We also know that those with imposter syndrome tend to be high achievers who are often attracted to high end jobs – and that it doesn’t go away with success. Albert Einstein, Emma Watson, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama have all spoken about having a sense of fraudulence, trouble recognising their success and anxiety about be exposed. Maya Angelo, brilliant author, poet and playwright is quoted as saying, I wonder if this will be the time, they me figure out.

Many propose that the root cause of imposter syndrome lies in our childhood, for example, growing up in an environment when you were not expected to achieve great things, or going to a highly competitive school. These experiences can lead to the development of beliefs about not being good enough and/or not belonging. This can trigger an urge to overcompensate by working extremely hard, to prove you are good enough and can fit in. Then, when one ‘climbs the ranks’ career wise and / or socially – there is anxiety about being found out to be an ‘imposter’.

Many of our clinicians at Counselling Psychology Online have experience in helping people overcome imposter syndrome using a variety of effective strategies. These include processing memories from your childhood that may have led to the development of imposter syndrome, identifying and challenging rules and assumptions about how you ‘should’ be and looking at how certain things you do and avoid doing may reinforce these beliefs. 


Online Imposter Syndrome Therapy

If you believe that you, or someone you are close to might have imposter syndrome, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for an initial assessment appointment. Here at Counselling Psychology Online, we are a group of trained psychologists, therapists and counsellors with a vast amount of experience in helping individuals with imposter syndrome. Contact us for more information.


Some of our most frequently asked questions related to imposter syndrome are listed below. If you require any further answers or additional information about our counselling and therapy for imposter syndrome, or want to book in a consultation, please email admin@counsellingpsychologyonline.com

How do I know if I have Imposter Syndrome?

If, after reading the above, you think you may have imposter syndrome, reaching out to Counselling Psychology Online is a positive step to getting a more thorough assessment and the help you need. Please contact us by emailing admin@counsellingpsychologyonline.com.

Do you work with Private Healthcare Providers?

Yes, we are registered providers of online imposter syndrome therapy with Aviva, AXA PPP, Bupa, Cigna HealthCare, Healix, Vitality Health and WPA Healthcare, amongst others.

Please note, if you are covered by an alternative insurance provider, we may still be able to help as some providers simply request we are approached by a patient before registering, so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

How many sessions of Imposter Syndrome therapy will I require?

Like most disorders, there is no a straightforward answer to this question. How many sessions of imposter syndrome therapy you will require will be dependent on many factors including how severe your symptoms are, how it is impacting your life and how long you have had it. We always start with an assessment session where we should be able to give you a good indication of how many sessions will be required. We will of course, remain flexible with this depending on progress. 

Coping with Imposter Syndrome with Counselling Psychology Online


Counselling Psychology Online provide online therapy and counselling to those suffering from Imposter Syndrome. If you require any further information, we are always happy for you to contact us.