Working with shame
Shame is like a virus that infects the soul and yet remains largely hidden. As a social emotion, shame regulates social behaviour and is often shrouded in secrecy and silence. It will explore when healthy shame can become chronic, or toxic, and its crippling effect on individuals. In particular, those that carry the burden of intergenerational shame and are raised in shame prone families, or who have histories of abandonment, prolonged or systematic emotional, physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or exposure to domestic violence.
This training day will examine the complex nature of shame, its origins and function. It will distinguish between healthy shame and chronic shame, shame and guilt, and its relationship to hubristic and authentic pride. It will explore the impact of chronic shame and long term effects, and identify the various defences against shame, such as withdrawal, attacking self, avoidance and attacking others, and their link to self-harm, addictions, compulsivity, repugnant obsessions, perfectionism, narcissism, grandiosity, rage and violence. The focus will be on being able to identify the role of shame in clients with addictions, in particular sex addiction, but also practitioner shame and how this impacts on the therapeutic relationship and the therapeutic process. Awareness of practitioner shame and their defences against shame is critical in being able to work through shame and minimise the risk of re-shaming clients.
Alongside enhancing awareness of shame in both client and practitioner in the clinical setting, the focus will be on how to release shame and build shame resilience through a range of therapeutic techniques and strategies as well as experiential exercises. Emphasis will be placed on creative, right brain based exercises such as the embodiment of shame, unpeeling the masks of shame, use of nesting dolls, and re-apportioning shame as well compassion focused exercises to promote healing, restore authentic pride and build shame resilience.
About Stephanie Palin
ATSAC is presenting this training day. Christiane Sanderson is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton with over 30 years’ experience working in child sexual abuse interpersonal trauma and domestic abuse (and trauma). She is the author of Counselling Skills for working with Shame
contact: email@example.com to book your place