I can’t stress a vital principle of AST Model of Holistic Shame Resolution work enough: wade into the waters of your client, co-create with them and allow them to guide your guidance.
In my experience, although chronic shame resolution work involves slow, incremental shifts, when very deep early needs for external protection are finally met, it can shift the very foundation of someone’s experience in a profoundly curative way.
Working with many cultures around the world, where verbalizing one’s thoughts is less important or even shameful than it is in the West, has taught me that naming shame is not always crucial to its resolution. In fact, it is not even one of the 10 Milestones of shame transformation according to AST Model®.
Moving into Meaning is Al Pesso’s chapter for ‘What Sustains Me’. It is a collaborative book. Each chapter is written by a different author, stands on its own, and is released independently. When all chapters are ready, the book will be published as a regular book as well as an e-book. The central question in this project is: What sustains you? More specifically: What gives you a sense of peace, meaning and purpose in everyday life? What keeps you going when times are tough? What gives you the strength to face moments of crisis or despair? The book’s topic could be described as an ‘existential quest’ or a ‘spiritual quest’.
Shame is often experienced as a massive, tornado-like swirl of helplessness and hopelessness that keeps tearing through our hearts and minds, through the very core of our being. Its redundant looping can become stuck on any number of thoughts of inadequacy: I am such a terrible failure; there is no way anyone could ever love me; I shouldn’t even bother trying, there’s no way I’m gonna measure; I don’t want anyone to see me; No one could ever understand what I am going through. It’s as if these voices trap people inside the black hole of shame’s universe, with seemingly no way out.
People ask me all the time about the importance of compassion in shame resolution work. My response is always the same: “It is crucial at the right time, in the right dose, and with the help of mirror neurons.”
Have you ever noticed feeling unsettled when a perfectly safe person, be it a colleague, a recent acquaintance, perhaps even your mailman stands close to you? There’s nothing specific to connect the feelings with, just a sense of discomfort, tension, awkwardness. Maybe you feel queasy or shaky, maybe a strong urge to run away over takes you but there’s no logical reason why. Rest assured, you’re not alone.
SPT Magazine offers our sincerest thanks to Neal Brodsky and Katelynn Bartleson for their creative and collaborative contributions to SPT Magazine readers! Neal's chapter, entitled,...
Serendipity? Fate? Karma? Divine intervention? What force has brought no less than six Christian ministers to this Jewish somatic psychotherapist? Ronan M. Kisch writes about his experience with spirituality, religion, and his role 'preaching' to the preachers.
Like many parents, I fantasied about the mother I hoped to be. Unfortunately, as a young mother, I experienced the birth of a pre-term baby. The birthing process itself and the subsequent moments following are significant and prepare us to connect with the baby, but in the case of premature birth nothing is known, or expected. Nothing could prepare my daughter and me for the cognitive dissonance we experienced at her birth. I called my uterus the ‘unfaithful uterus’ that betrayed not only her, but also me. A plastic box and a medical team that undoubtedly saved her life were her external uterus.
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