The Web of Shame in the Therapeutic Space: Video Course
Speaker: Christiane Sanderson
Product: Video Course
CPD Hours: 10
Video course packs, including all notes are sent by an email link. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.
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As practitioners, we often witness that shame can become chronic or even toxic, having a crippling effect on our clients, especially those who carry the burden of intergenerational shame and are raised in shame prone families, or who have histories of abandonment, prolonged or systematic emotional, physical or sexual abuse, neglect or exposure to domestic violence. Our therapeutic interactions can be even more complicated if there exists practitioner shame that we are either not aware of or haven’t fully addressed.
Full Course Information
At this practical and unique workshop which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, across modalities, Christiane draws on her extensive experience in working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse to examine the complex nature of shame, its origins, its functions and its long-term effects, to explain how we can:
- distinguish between healthy and chronic shame, shame and guilt – while looking at their relationships to hubristic and authentic pride
- assist our clients through the process of defences against shame – these defences could be manifest as withdrawal, attacking self, avoidance and attacking others and bear linkages to self-harm, addictions, repugnant obsessions, perfectionism, narcissism, grandiosity, rage and violence
- identify our own patterns of shame and the impact these might be having on our therapeutic relationships
- build shame resilience for clients and ourselves through specific therapeutic techniques
Through experiential exercises, case vignettes and emphasis on creative, right brain-based exercises such as the embodiment of shame, unpeeling the masks of shame, use of nesting dolls, re-apportioning shame and compassion focused exercises; the workshop allows us to promote healing, restore authentic pride and build shame resilience, while minimising the risk of re-shaming our clients.
Session 1: The Web of Shame
The first session introduces us to the complex dynamics of shame through an experiential exercise in which we witness webs of shame. This experiential exercise will enable practitioners to enhance their understanding of their own experience of shame. In creating a web of shame, they will be able to explore what shame means to them, the silence and secrecy that shrouds shame; how to break the silence and share shame with others. In embracing our own shame, we will feel more equipped to tolerate and work with shame in our therapeutic settings.
Session 2: The origins and Function of Shame
In this session, we will distinguish between healthy shame and chronic shame, shame and blame, shame and guilt and its relationship to hubristic and authentic pride. It will also examine the shift from external shame to internalised shame and the impact of vicarious shame. Emphasis will be placed on shame as social emotion that regulates social behaviour but can become toxic – through the intergenerational transmission of shame, the nature and impact of shame prone families, and shame that is induced through childhood physical and sexual abuse, and relational trauma.
Session 3: The Presence of Shame in the Therapy Room
Awareness of practitioner shame and our own defences against shame is critical so we can avoid the risk of re-shaming clients. Building on our understanding of the nature and function of shame, this session will look at the long-term effects of shame and how these manifest in clinical practice, including the role of dissociation and the perpetuation of shame through self-shaming strategies such as negative self-beliefs and negative self-talk and rumination. We will examine how shame is evoked in the therapeutic space – how clients might shame us, and how we in turn might shame clients. This will enable us to identify the primary defences against shame in both clients and ourselves and how this impacts on the therapeutic relationship.
Session 4: How we can Work with Shame
This session will explore a number of therapeutic strategies to dissolve shame. It will focus on how we can introduce talking about shame in a safe, non-threatening way, and how we can navigate the exploration of shame in a non-shaming way through the use of language and non-verbal communication. Emphasis will be placed on working relationally with clients through mutuality and connection; so as to restore relational worth.
Session 5: Exercises to Aid Working with Shame
The focus of this session will be on introducing a number of experiential exercises and skills that we can use with clients to facilitate the release of shame. It will present exercises that identify the domains and location of shame such as the body, mind, sexuality, gender, relationships, cultural shame and ageing, and the many layers of shame. Attention will also be placed on the felt sense of shame and how this is embodied. To unpeel the masks of shame, the use of nesting dolls will be explored, and we will consider the re-apportioning of shame. Participants will have an opportunity to practice these skills as well as look at how they can integrate these exercises into their practice.
Session 6: Building Shame Resilience
In the last session, the seminar will examine how we can build shame resilience and help restore authentic pride. It will look at the role of kindness, self-acceptance and self-compassion that helps to dissolve shame and minimise the recurrence of chronic shame. Exercises to enhance self-compassion will be explored alongside strategies to continue to build authentic pride. We will consider how these restore vitality and spontaneity to clients and release them from inhibiting effects of shame.
About the speaker
Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc is a senior lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 30 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield. She is a regular speaker at nscience and delivers workshops covering topics ranging from Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse to Complex Trauma.
She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths, Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends and Numbing the Pain: A pocket guide for professionals supporting survivors of childhood sexual abuse and addictions for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee.