As practitioners, we know how transformative self-compassion can be – especially when it comes to healing shame.
But here’s the thing – when a client is deeply rooted in shame, the very idea of being kind to themselves can feel undeserved and uncomfortable, even unnatural.
So what if we could give them a step-by-step process to help them move beyond these common blocks to self-compassion?
Below, we created a free tool for practitioners to share with clients that breaks down the 5 key steps for transforming shame with self-compassion.
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Step 1: Understand “The Nature of Shame”
Shame is normal. Shame is the brain’s way of dealing with the threat of disconnection.
Step 2: Label Shame
Label shame for what it is: an emotion. Giving it a name helps you get some distance between you and the emotion
Step 3: Replace Judgement With Curiosity
Try to hold your experience of shame with curiosity rather than judgment. Curiosity about your emotions can hep you shift into a more caring and understanding perspective.
Step 4: Acknowledge your Inner Critic
It’s helpful to be aware that your inner critic often likes to amplify your shame, Remind your inner critic that you are a work in progress, trying to navigate the best you can.
Step 5: Practice What is Helpful, Not Harmful
Try to speak to yourself like you would a friend. Can you ask yourself what actions would be helpful for recovering from this experience, rather than actions that might perpetuate it? If you are working on correcting an action, can you offer yourself constructive correction rather than shaming self-attack.
(Please be sure to include the copyright information. We put a lot of work into creating these resources for you. Thanks!)
You can hear more about how to transform shame with self-compassion in the Clinical Application of Compassion program.
You’ll get insights from Paul Gilbert, PhD; Kristin Neff, PhD; Deborah Lee, DClinPsy; Christopher Germer, PhD; Jack Kornfield, PhD; Dennis Tirch, PhD and several other top experts in the field.
Now we’d like to hear from you. What have you found useful in helping clients foster self-compassion?
Please leave a comment below.