How do you work on shame?


Policy Enforcement
Maybe you could research definitions and report them here.
I know the definitions. I was looking for your perspective *because* it differed from my own. But somehow you continue to be very passive aggressive when I speak to you so I'm gonna put you on ignore instead and yknow f*ck it. Embrace my ban 👍 because maybe one day you'll look at how you treat people and realise you're not always the victim


“Shame dies in the light’’. For me that’s why talking therapy over other forms of therapy are especially useful. If vulnerability/ shame are exposed unsafely it risks growing - but in yak therapy ( that was a very funny typo I’m leaving) with a safe therapist it sees the light. And it’s safe enough then to gently challenge thoughts AROUND that without being shamed.

It’s also why Pure cbt was not a good fit for me - it felt unsafe, dismissive and too akin - in fact some of the very mechanisms I had developed in a series of unsafe situations. What I need is ‘light’. Kindness, support - And indeed gentle challenge with in that so I can start to apply the rest myself with support and light


What is CPT?
CPT is Cognitive Processing Therapy. It is a trauma specific therapy I think it started in the Military I have generally only found clinicians that have worked with veterans that generally have training/experience in it. I had one therapist sort of introduce it to me a little over a decade ago and if I had known then what I know now about the therapeutic process and CPT I would have reported him to the state licensing board now it would just seem punitive and be almost impossible to prove how dangerous his practices were. The therapist that I am working with now suggested it when we first started 3 years ago and I was such a people pleaser terrified that if I didn't try he would drop me that I tried it and quit after three sessions terrified that he would drop me anyhow but I was so unstable at the time I didn't care. Now, we are 8 weeks in, 7 sessions (we had to detour and add an additional session after a major issue came out in one session that we had to devout the next session to just dealing with it). Each course is supposed to be 12 weeks dealing with a specific traumatic event starting with what my therapist calls the index trauma or the event that bothers you the most. It may not be the first major trauma that you experienced but the one that causes the most negative beliefs, actions or other behaviors etc.

Hope that helps. I also linked to a good page explaining the therapy and process.


In my opinion: guilt is about something I did while shame is about who I am. Toxic shame might be when others try to make you feel ashamed.
Whether or not the feelings are accurate is a whole other thing.
I like this - and agree with it - BUT 😳😂- I think what I do is who I am rather than what I think I am? Hmm - is that clear? Reveal who we are in action / in action. not our thoughts and words - So I think the actions ( guilt) can expose shame .

Sometimes maybe shame is the reveal of who we are in some circumstances over who we thought we were / are in others?


Pot. Kettle.
Ignore function.

@Teasel - @Chris-duck asked you a clarifying question. Your suggesting that they research definitions - of concepts that you have posited - is passive-aggressive. I'm not reading tone, just reading words and seeing a pattern of behavior.
Maybe you could research definitions and report them here.
Take the chip off your shoulder, please.

Thread-ban lifted. Moving on.


Hey @Teasel I’m way too tired to read through and respond to this thread right now - I’ll pop back another day. But, just to say, I posted something similar a couple of years ago here, so there may be something helpful for you on that thread too:

Will come back when I’ve got more energy and headspace!


Started working on shame in therapy months ago. It has helped. However in the last little bit I have been learning about executive dysfunction. It's the AD part of ADHD, ADD, and Autism.
Most people with PTSD suffer from executive function issues as well. Brain fog, forgetfulness, time management, and rejection sensitive dysphoria aresome of its parts. Just like it sounds somewhat except what it really is is something that twists perception of what people said and did to rejection. Not just rejection but it adds dysphoria on top of it. In doing that it adds those strong feelings of rejection to those memories. For me it seems that's where a lot of shameful feelings seem to come from.

I have found now that a lot of what I thought is shame was actually created by rejection sensitive dysphoria.


According to Brenè Brown there’s no such thing as helpful shame. Guilt yes, not shame. And apparently the distinction does matter idk! I’m not a massive fan of all her stuff but I feel like she knows what’s she’s about with shame. Well I mean she has been studying it for years.

I read some of her books she’s always trying to get you to get the next one but a lot of it is repeating it self. Although there’s new stuff in each. I honestly can’t remember the one I liked the best to recommend. I read power of vulnerability, gifts of imperfection, and daring greatly. It is a little more geared towards people who are just a wee bit struggly not people incapacitated by bad time brains.

She had that ted talk that went viral. I liked the books had a couple of near breakdowns while listening to it on my commute (before my bad time brain incapacitated me… again!
Hurts real good if you know what I mean.


Not Active
I think there are times shame is a positive reaction especially when a person does something horrendous. Shame on who and who, who should feel shame by doing such and such. If we did not have shame to make people stop doing shameful things, my god, there would have been no societies.
However, the shame a victim feels IMHO and from what I read and maybe what Brene may be alluding to is: shame is introject. The shameful person who abused the victim left their seed of shame in the victim. I feel all emotions have positive aspects otherwise why did they evolve for so long?

I have had a lot of shame from my mother. I called it when I feel often after I stand up assertively for myself in group or space (I should not have or I feel I should not have) and I say to myself ouch, I feel shame and honestly give myself a hug and say I am human, I am vulnerable, I feel exposed. I will be OK. Whenever I acknowledge my shame, it seems to make less intense.