Understanding and working with shame
Shame tells you it’s just you, that your alone, but the truth is everyone has it.
Shame is a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness, it affects us at a deep neurological level. Shame and trauma are the same thing, working with trauma is about updating the brain, from danger mode, from( there and then )to daily life mode in the ( here and now)
Shame is ongoing, physical state, the role of shame is to promote survival tries to keep us safe (our neurobiology is based on survival mode after trauma. You feel disconnected relationally, disconnected because of the story we tell ourselves ie we are bad or unworthy. We need to gain the courage to be imperfect.
Shame affects us deeply, it is difficult to bear and can allow us to feel fundamentally unacceptable. In Shame, we can hide, by avoiding behaviours and it can lead to self-harm, suicidal feelings and suicidal attempts. Shame can be manifested as a result of child abuse, physical and emotional abuse, trauma, self-hate, dishonourable behaviour it underpins the nature dissociation identify disorder. A Person can feel shame cheating in an exam, or caught lying, shame is an emotion that can come about for many reasons.
Shame is a barrier to connecting to others, can make you feel powerlessness, in therapy, it's in the room, you can feel awkward as it takes courage to talk to a stranger to reveal your secrets your experiences while your shame can make you believe you are defective flawed or different or hold the belief you might be rejected.
Counsellors have feelings of Shame, and so do other professionals, everyone experiences shame in their life but might not realise or recognize what their shame is.
I have been on a few Shame workshops dealing with my own shame and with my counsellor.
My Shame voice in my head tells me “you’re not good enough" “ your rubbish counsellor” “your too fat “ “your not clever enough” and can hear my mothers voice “ counselling a load of rubbish “ Feelings of doubt can pop into my head, for a moment but I have worked hard on my shame I can tell myself it’s not true and ignore my thoughts by being self-compassionate kind to yourself you do deserve kindness.
Working with a counsellor or psychotherapist that has expertise with trauma and shame you can recover , shame needs to be heard and validated by someone a really good friend that listens empathetically and tries to understand your story, someone that does not make you feel dismissed or tries to shame you.
You might not know shame is driving you,
"its that automatic " self talk" Shame tells you, your not good enough," your bad " iif you realise your good enough, shame voice can questions you ie: "who do think you are "
you might feel scared or beyond repair , I can offer you a warm smile open posture hopefully give you courage to spea . To feel listen too and understood,
Therapy can give you hope and teaches you that your not hopeless, defective or flawed .
Your journey out of shame:
In brief: To shift shame we have to change our state , “how we see ourselves” by learning compassion from others like a good kind friend, or counsellor relationship that is non judgemental that you feel comfortable being uncomfortable someone that can support your journey.
Everyone has it.
No-one wants to talk about it.
But the less we talk about,
The more we have it.
Learning to become self- compassionate, self kindness behave humanely to yourself to change your stance
Have compassion for others, change your shame story
Working with Trauma and shame often can be long term work .