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22 Comments

  1. Debbie Roberson, Social Work, USA says

    I would also ask if “how do you see yourself or feel about being” perfectly imperfect”. It is often because the ego is playing a part of who the person is and shaped over the years. So the video would be complete with saying something like about being yourself and being what the society is expecting you to be. Seems like the norms are now no longer the same as it was years ago. Not sure if this video is still relevant for today ?

    Meanwhile on the personal level, some of the questions can still be: “Can you think of something you did earlier in your life that could be shameful to some people, but you’ve been quite open about it?” “Did you ever get really drunk when you were a teenager or young adult? Or did you ever do something really wild and crazy that now you’re somewhat embarrassed about?”, Dr. Padesky said.

  2. RenaMae Nadeau, Occupational Therapy, Fort Kent, ME, USA says

    Very helpful and thankful and grateful but one’s does need privacy due to matters some people would not understand some clients have past drama that takes time to heal when it was healed many seek to know and harm the client opening old drama even Doctor. Know best when pass drama of the client has buried it should never be reopen to know how and never call it shameful for it is not shame it is also called or known as missed trust in Doctor or school using students to study never a shame your clients to that abuse or defining.it’s very degrading

  3. Natalya Pazdnikova, Psychology, HK says

    This is very useful! Thank you 😊

  4. Kristie Weeks, Other, Muscle Shoals , AL, USA says

    I have the opposite problem. I want to talk about my experiences. I was sexually abused as a child. Whether it was due to the drugs my perpetrator (father) gave me or due to dissociation, I blocked it out for decades. I even allowed my own children to have a relationship with him although I always felt he was unsafe. I live in a culture where we are to honor our parents no matter what they have done. I live in AL. I want to talk about the abuse and the shame and sadness I feel for allowing my children to have a relationship with my abusive parents. No one, except my husband and therapists, is willing to even talk about it. I’m expected to honor my parents no matter what and that means covering up their crimes. It’s very frustrating. I want to share my story and find others that are dealing with similar issues. But everything is brushed under the rug here in the “Bible Belt” of Alabama.

    • Ireen White, Counseling, Chicago , IL, USA says

      Kristie Weeks..
      Sending you love and light
      BIG HUGS

  5. Ollie Mc, Another Field, 92627, CA, USA says

    Thank you. Thank you. These were guiding questions. I’m a transgender individual with significant sexual trauma and intimate abuse from a young age and if I had heard these as a younger person my life would have gone differently. But I’m not ashamed that I’m hearing this now and I am grateful for this time and focus on shame.
    May I say these questions were essential because I tend to get caught up on the cognitive aspects of shame— that is the verbal and emotional traps that keep me “in my head” and these questions help to see the practical and interpersonal as well as physical effects of carrying such traumas without seeing how they branch into my daily life. What is practiced becomes habit and character and shame sealed in by violent abuse has lead me into a life of disassociation and interpersonal traps of repeating abusive situations. Tackling shame is no easy task when it has been used to replace positive and self affirming internal motivators and has been the main motivator for behaviors most of my life. It leads to an internal scene of redundant and self harming turmoil which spills over into real life behaviors. Fear piles onto it and knowing these questions can help me have a clearer perspective and that we are tackling shame and it’s propensity to deny autonomy to the individual is truly a wonderful and powerful thing for the lives of many.

  6. Annette Wheeler, Social Work, CA says

    I have a 40 yr old daughter who is an alcoholic and keeps trying to quit but the quilt and shame are too much for her to bear because she let her kids down so many times and has cost the kids a lot of heartache. What would you suggest for her?

    • Sabrina Hanan NBC-HWC MA ABS, Coach, Emigrant, MT, USA says

      Annette this is a very pertinent and important question. Many of our clients will come to use in this space of heart and mind. I pondered what I would say to your daughter at our first meeting. I sense what I would say is, “What feelings does the alcohol help you make go away temporarily?” Then I would ask “What is the strongest emotion you have when not affected by alcohol?” From this information I would assess her stage of change (Drs. Prochaska) and then use MI to create increased internal emotional state awareness. I hope this is helpful.

    • Anonymous, Counseling, CA says

      I’m really sorry that both you and your daughter are hurting. I might suggest that you ask your daughter to accept the guilt and try to just stay with the feelings as they arise. If she can radically accept that guilt will be a part of her life then perhaps she can continue to try her best to be the kind of mom she really wants to be.

      • Diana Smith, Coach, COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, USA says

        What is the underlying factor causing her to drink? Is it something done to her and now she has to learn how to deal with that before she can “shake the guilt?”

  7. S. Faye Snyder, PsyD, Psychology, Bakersfield, CA, USA says

    This was a gift. I almost passed it by, because I thought it was another ad for another class.

    Thank you. The question, “How much time do you spend thinking about this…” was wonderful.

  8. Matt Hersh, Psychotherapy, Waltham, MA, USA says

    Thank you, Dr. Padesky! Lovely and highly useful description of the costs of shame and the value of shedding some caring light on the experience. I really like the gentle way we can ask about the costs of continuing to hide and what it would be like even if just one person could accept you while you revealed your secrets.

  9. Shirley Eck, Counseling, Lowgap, NC, USA says

    I really liked asking them about how much time do you think about something embarrassing that you have shared?

  10. Meg G, Another Field, GB says

    Very good indeed. This is the way in, not to start off describing the issue, but to ask what are the personal costs. And then to explore the cost involved in keeping something hidden, the interpersonal barriers needed that create distance; and finally, the magic question – what would it feel like to be fully who you are and still be accepted by others – even just by one person. Thanks!

  11. Gary Short, Psychotherapy, NY, USA says

    Excellent ideas to break through the shame cycle. I began doing this approach a few years ago and is so energizing to clients.
    Their is a quote I share with many clients that is powerful!
    “ secrets no longer have power over us once they are out in the open”

  12. Leslie Mstsh, Marriage/Family Therapy, USA says

    I love this approach. I have several patients that hold back on life because of shame. Thank you for sharing this short video- I’m going to do this with them!

  13. Gwen Liddle, Occupational Therapy, AU says

    really like this approach – is helpful, thanks

  14. Kareolynn Jewole, Other, New York , NY, USA says

    I’m the client I have shame about my sexuality molestarion started when I was about 5yo I was an orphan by then Was raised by the pedophile not a relative Was ashamed of the fact that he found out what I had between my legs Lots of molestation by men in neighborhood Was treated like a piece of meat Cannot see men as people Can only see them as sex objects needing sex.

    • Janet Magnani, Medicine, Ashland, MA, USA says

      I am so sorry this happened to you… You did not deserve it… You have suffered tremendous trauma… Which she is talking about is shame at what happened… Not about the shame you feel when you feel there is something wrong with you… She is not even beginning to address the shame That you feel you are not worthy… Please keep up your courage

    • Camille, Teacher, NY, USA says

      I’m so sorry, Kareolynn. You didn’t deserve to be treated as anything other than a tender, lovable being. I will keep you in my thoughts. May you find a path toward greater self-compassion. Thanks for sharing your story, Camille

    • Anonymous, Counseling, USA says

      It is so hard to find “normal” ( is there any such thing?) When one has no memory of what it might be like… Hugs.

    • Anonymous says

      I’m heartbroken for your little 5 year old self who was sexually assaulted and abused by the people who were supposed to love her and keep her safe! Please give that little girl, inside of you, the biggest hug for me! Thank you for your courageous sharing of your deep traumas. I wish you love and healing❤️