Shame

Therapy for Shame Issues

  • Are you often self-critical?
  • Are you prone to feeling guilty?
  • Do you tend to be perfectionistic?
  • Do you often feel that your performance is a reflection of your value as a person?
  • Are you sensitive to rejection?
  • Do you tolerate disrespect and abuse in relationship?
  • Do you seek approval from others?
  • Do you procrastinate and struggle to follow through on your intentions?

We all know the experience of feeling shame. Having a sense that we are wrong, bad, or undeserving are all ways in which we may feel shame. Generally speaking, shame differs from guilt in that shame is the thought/feeling of “being bad” whereas guilt is a thought/feeling of having “done something bad.” Shame may stem from how others have treated us historically and how we have learned to perceive ourselves. Such perceptions can then be reinforced by our behaviors and experiences that we have. Feelings of shame can lead to long-lasting relationship, professional, and sexual difficulties. Engaging in therapy can allow us to further understand the roots of our shame and help us become more self-accepting.

What is therapy for shame like?

Therapy can help you overcome shame by helping you to develop a healthy, objective perspective of yourself and your behaviors. Therapy may help you explore what the roots of your shame are and how such feelings have been reinforced through other people’s treatment of you and by your own behaviors at times. Therapy can also help you find ways to be more loving and compassionate with yourself so that you can more fully embrace yourself as you are.

Benefits of therapy for shame

  • Understanding the causes and contributors to your shame
  • Giving you an opportunity to process your feelings of shame so that you do not have to harbor them yourself
  • Relieving shame-related symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and unhealthy behaviors (e.g., addictive behaviors)
  • Developing a healthier, more objective perspective of yourself
  • Gaining greater self-acceptance