Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Recognizing Shame

Originally posted on August 12, 2017

I have two friends, Sheila Rubin, LMFT & Bret Lyon, Ph.D, who write about the dynamics of shame, and give workshops on this topic. It’s a basic theme in psychology and needs to be addressed. Many of those who really need therapy need also to treat their shame, as shame complicates their disorder. Many get by as normal but they’re inhibited by shame.

There are some others such as our current President of the United States who seem to have made a very deep, unconscious decision not to be inhibited by shame. They are "counter-phobic" in a sense. No shame here! Nothing to be shamed about! That’s why perhaps the best thing we can say to Trump is "You should be ashamed of yourself!" But we’re so bothered by shame we don’t want to say it to others.

Sheila and Bret and others confront shame directly. (It’s kind of like talking about sex openly.) We should recognize shame as a profoundly inhibiting dynamic.

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