Becoming Shameless

Becoming Shameless
Encounters with Humiliation in the Therapeutic Relationship

With Dr Doris Brothers, Jane Haberlin and Professor Andrew Samuels

Recorded Saturday 3 July 2021

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.

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FULL PROGRAMME

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 to show how their mutual examination of the experience from an embodied perspective led to a shared understanding of the excruciating feelings of shame that the patient had experienced. When the therapeutic couple resumed their relationship after an absence, transformations in their experience of shame greatly deepened their connectedness.

Q&A with Dr Doris Brothers

Professor Andrew Samuels
How equal is ‘equal’? Power, privilege and the shameful shadow of the wounded healer
Every time a therapist uses the word ‘equality’ difficulties arise. People prefer words like ‘mutuality’ or ‘mutual recognition’. Such ambivalences exist in politics as well. Differences in power, privilege and entitlement in the socio-political world do not trace off perfectly onto therapy – but they are heavily present nonetheless because they have colonised our minds. It is possible to disrupt the power binary of therapist – client by referring to the therapist as a Wounded Healer. But that, too, brings problems of shame in its wake. In the talk, Andrew deepens the debate by extending his ideas on ‘democratic spirituality’ and ‘political style’ into the therapy situation.

Q&A with Professor Andrew Samuels

Jane Haberlin
Beam me up, Scotty!
The rapidly changing social environment presents significant challenges for the therapist: on the one hand, social media has facilitated an explosion of excitement around shame which has ushered in shamelessness. On the other, the empowerment of those previously on the margins has allowed rules to be rejected and for internalized shame – whether about the ideal body, race, class – to be diluted and reframed. Ignorance of these changing social mores and the fast-moving debate around identity politics can cause the therapist to find themselves in an unfamiliar landscape of mutual projective processes. Here, both client and therapist can become dysregulated by their own feelings of shame. Jane will include clinical vignettes to illustrate how such experiences can be negotiated, understood and resolved.

Q&A with Jane Haberlin

All panel Q&A

FEES

Confer member:
£48
(Click here to become a member)

Self-funded:
£60

Test and Certificate of Attendance:
£25

CPD

A certificate of attendance may be applied for (3.5 hours CPD) on the basis of passing a multiple choice questionnaire.

Please click ‘Book Online’ below and select the ‘CPD Certificate of Attendance’ to purchase. The multiple choice questionnaire will then be added to your Confer account for completion.

SCHEDULE

00:02:49
Dr Doris Brothers
The shrug: an encounter with mutually embodied shame

00:29:24
Q&A with Dr Doris Brothers

00:59:49
Professor Andrew Samuels
How equal is ‘equal’? Power, privilege and the shameful shadow of the wounded healer

01:42:26
Q&A with Professor Andrew Samuels

02:02:03
Jane Haberlin
Beam me up, Scotty!

02:45:50
Q&A with Jane Haberlin

03:00:56
All panel Q&A

03:47:26
End

LEARNING OBJECTIVES

By attending this workshop virtually, participants will be able to:
  • Discuss how the experience from an embodied perspective leads to a shared understanding of the excruciating feelings of shame that the patient experiences.
  • Explain how the notion of wounded healer brings problems of shame in the context of the power dynamic within the therapy situation.
  • Di