Shame

Some of you have been reading the discussion on the EFT list about therapist shame in learning a new treatment model and how being back in a vulnerable learning place can trigger our own shame. The book: Shame In The Therapy Hour came up as helpful in the discussion.

Click Here To Buy The Book

I was so excited about this book when I found this book last year. It provide a very nice summary of so much of the shame research that I had piled in front of me. So if you’re don’t want to spend hours in the library stacks you might like this book.

Here are my thoughts on it.

First, it’s a very interesting book – edited by some of the front runner researchers on shame. The emphasis of the book is on treating shame, not on self-of-therapist issues and aspects of shame. However, there is a chapter on therapist shame that focuses on how to work with therapist shame in supervision (if you are the supervisor).

Chapter 3 is on Emotion Focused Therapy by Greenberg, as distinguished from Sue Johnson Emotionally Focused Therapy – attachment based EFT. This chapter is for individual treatment of shame and doesn’t have an attachment base. It also misses some of the humanistic view Sue Johnson emphasizes towards emotion. For instance, Sue would not consider emotion maladaptive. If you’ve read Greenberg, you’ll recognize the writing, it is packed with deconstructing emotion and very interesting. Be aware – the emphasis is on developing self-soothing techniques, rather than how to turn to others to develop secure attachment and thus have emotional regulation and soothing.

Chapter 7, the only chapter on couple therapy and shame, takes a cognitive behavioral approach. The chapter does a nice job reviewing the leading concepts of shame and describing how couples can trigger each other and maintain partner shame.

Chapter 15 introduces the concept of shame resilience. It emphasizes interpersonal connectedness as necessary for shame resilience.

Of course there’s also chapters on other individual issues, such as PTSD and various addictions (process and chemical). It’s a big, hard bound, thick book. If you have an extra $50 bucks it’s a good reference. Will it help you specifically with shame and couple therapy – probably not so much.

But, if you are interested in learning how to work with shame using Emotionally Focused Therapy then mark Nov. 16th and 17th on your calendar as the Transforming Shame Using Emotionally Focused Therapy online workshop is taking registrations. Jim Thomas and I will review what you need to know to treat couples and also have a segment on self-of-therapist issues – and even a follow up monthly consultation group for developing your own shame resilience. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Click Here to Learn More