Social Anxiety Forum - View Single Post - The Toxic Shame thread (the cause of SA for most)
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 08-23-2010, 01:10 PM
LostPancake's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: walkabout
Gender: Male
Age: 51
Posts: 2,067
Originally Posted by cubanscorpio View Post
ugh not again with this toxic shame crap. are you trying to sell a book or something?
He's just trying to be helpful. I don't think it underlies everyone's social anxiety, but some people might find it useful.

I also wonder about recovery - would cognitive therapy be enough? I've never actually done a full course of it, where you get down to the core beliefs and challenge them with evidence. Or is toxic shame on a more visceral level, in which case developing a relationship with an empathic person would help provide the emotional regulation that was lacking in childhood?

Or maybe doing both would be best, as the cognitive component would be there as well. I guess that would involve doing CBT with an empathic therapist.

The therapy I've been doing is psychodynamic and relational, which involves learning to integrate previously disowned emotions. And along the way I've seen how much my dad used shame to control and belittle me, in order to make himself feel better. Bradshaw refers to that as acting 'shameless', and I know why he did it, because of the childhood he had. And my mom had emotional problems as well, and I wound up trying to take care of her emotions and failing. They were both pretty intense experiences of shame. And shame is such a horrible emotion that you wind up repressing it out of conscious awareness, but it's still there at the core of your personality. Part of the therapy I'm doing is uncovering and reexperiencing these old emotions in the presence of an empathic person, which slowly helps integrate them into your psyche, instead of them being like buried mines that go off in situations that trigger them due to their similarity to the original circumstances (in my case, anything involving work and bosses, and close and romantic relationships).
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