Shame Resilience
Shame is the feeling we experience when we believe ourselves to be inadequate in some way. A more painful experience of shame is the sense that we are so flawed that we don't deserve to be loved or to belong. It is an emotion experienced by all human beings from time to time, and it is also a cultural blight in the United States today. From the tenor of our public discourse in politics and media coverage of celebrities to the intense personal shame that isolates us from friends and family, shame erodes the quality of our lives. Simple shame, experienced as embarrassment, can have benefits, such as placing limits on our behavior. Toxic shame, however, is often so painful that nothing helpful can come from it. In fact it can take over and obliterate our authentic self.

In our practice we have long been aware that shame is the underlying mechanism that brings most people to therapy. It may be disguised as anxiety, or depression or PTSD or many other disorders, but the root cause of most issues we treat is shame.

There are four steps to developing shame resilience or shame resiliency. Some researchers and authors have identified different methods of becoming shame resilient. This list is adapted from Brene Brown's work.
  1. Recognize shame when we feel it (more).
  2. Recognize our social and cultural expectations and how we react to shame (more).
  3. Connections - make meaningful empathetic and compassionate connections with others(more).
  4. Share it - speak about that which is most shameful to us - Shame cannot survive exposure(more).

We are currently aware of some resources on shame and shame resilience. More will be added to this page as we find out about them.

Michael Graham website
Sandy Graham website
Brian Jackson website

Certified Daring Way™ Facilitators
Daring Way™ Phoenix
Brene Brown website
Brene Brown Ted Talks
Embarrassment can be helpful
Dr. Joseph Burgo's Blog
John Bradshaw video on Healing the Shame that Binds You
Tiny Buddha article on shame

Facts of Life: ten issues of contentment. - this is a book about being happy. It covers shame and a lot of other factors which contribute to unhappiness.

When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times - this is a book about accepting your self and meditation.

Self Compassion Site - this is a site dedicated to self compassion which is a practice that combats shame.
This site is maintained by Sandy & Michael Graham
The poem in the header is quoted from Andrea Balt
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