Becoming Shameless

Becoming Shameless

Encounters with Humiliation in the Therapeutic Relationship

Recorded Saturday 3 July 2021

With Dr Doris Brothers, Jane Haberlin and Professor Andrew Samuels

CPD Credits: 3.5 hours

Shame is often felt to be one of the most excruciating emotions, perhaps because it threatens one’s deepest sense of being loveable. For many, a sudden sense of having been inappropriate is embarrassing.

But for someone who has never felt certain of their worth, a minor encounter with personal limitations can feel like a catastrophic reminder of one’s supposed inadequacy: of being insufficient, not quite what’s wanted, unacceptable.



Dr Doris Brothers
The shrug: an encounter with mutually embodied shame
In her book Toward a Psychology of Uncertainty: Trauma-Centered Psychoanalysis (Routledge, 2008), Doris offered a clinical vignette that centered on the devastating effects of a spontaneous and irritable bodily gesture she made to a patient in the form of a dismissive shrug. In this presentation, she revisits that encounter in an attempt