Shame is Important to talk about in therapy
Shame literally means "to cover" and elicits a strong desire to hide, curl up, and become invisible.
Shame by its very nature is elusive and confusing;
an emotion that many of us don't recognize easily; yet it's usually the basis of addiction, violence, overwork, emotional shutdown, and the need to adopt a 'false self.'
Shame is a powerful emotion that hides our truth, our heart, and our spirit.
It can be understood as a parasympathetic disruption that causes a person to feel overwhelmed, causing a 'shame attack' that cuts off a connection to pleasure, vitality, mobility, reasoning, thinking, breathing, and concentrating.
During a shame attack, it is very difficult to speak, move, think clearly and even look at another person.
There is a sense of feeling small, invisible, hidden, and a tendency to become overly compliant or submissive.
Shame & Attachment Trauma
The family we grow up in determines the core beliefs we carry as adults.
For so many people, the development of a healthy authentic self never emerged, or was limited. This is the result of not being adequately nurtured, known, understood, and given attention, protection and direction - which is what healthy secure attachment provides.
Attachment trauma happens when a primary attachment figure (usually mother, but also father or relatives) chronically shames a child over time. This child will start to feel bad, unworthy and unlovable, at the core of who they are.
As a result of these experiences, negative inner critic voices usually begin developing early on in childhood and can start to berate the child for being wrong, bad, incompetent, imperfect or stupid.
Eventually the child doesn't need anyone to actually say these negative things, because the inner critic is doing all the shaming.
How Therapy Can Help
Through compassion, presence and skill, my integrative therapy approach to working with shame weaves together a powerful process that recognizes what shame survivors need: safety, acceptance, heart connection, empowerment, belonging.
Benefits of Shame Healing Work