Chris, I'm sorry for my late reply, but I've been having computer issues for the last several days. Anyway, below is my reply.
If you found a better, quicker way to overcome SA, thats great. I spent a few minutes looking at a couple sites about toxic shame. I dont know. To me its obvious why I have this disorder. In one of your posts you mention that recovery from toxic shame requires that you 'correct your thinking' through study and repetition. Isnt that cbt?...changing unrealistic negative thoughts into more positive realistic ones.
You may have to read the book(s) by John Bradshaw to fully understand all the ways toxic shame works and the various ways it can affect a person. Or, at the very least, read my thread for a decent understanding of TS (but obviously I can't cover everything in one thread that a book can).
You are correct when you alluded to cbt being about changing unrealistic negative thoughts into more positive realistic ones. In my opinion, doing that is not the best way to go about it. As a member here named "Rainwilds" once posted in regards to cbt:
It is no good just to sit there in a conversation and say ‘wait hold on a minute, I just need to defeat this negative thought’, or, ‘I just need to think a different thought.’ Your thoughts must come and go naturally, unperturbed through acceptance without you having to challenge (fight) yourself. Challenging your thoughts will only keep focused on yourself, inward, going round-and-round like in a hamster’s wheel. Your thoughts need to flow naturally.
Thus, when I said we need to "correct our thinking", I wasn't necessarily talking about changing negative thoughts into postive thoughts (of which is the thing cbt tries to do). Instead, I was talking about changing the way we view ourselves and others; to have the deep down realization that, intrinsically, nobody is better or worse than anyone else. Nobody is intrinisically different than anyone else. Whether it is a movie star, a president, or a homeless person living on the streets... we are all equally human, and nobody is better or more deserving than another. And, one has to understand that he/she is not a "bad" or worthless or defective person.
Another problem with cbt is that it focuses on the symptoms, rather than the actual core issue that caused one's SA in the first place. Because, how can you change your behavior if you don't know what is causing it? It is like cutting off diseased leaves off a plant without attacking the disease at its roots.
For a person to begin to heal their toxic shame (and its symptom of SA) you need to know how and why you are shameful. This is the key! Why? Because in knowing where shame was projected onto you in your past, whether it was projected knowingly or not, is what will lead you towards acceptance of who you are now, warts-and-all. This will help lead you to the autonomous belief that you, at your core, are not defective and inferior. And of course by adding in the help of those such as John Bradshaw and Dr. Glover, you can heal your toxic shame and SA.
And the last step to toxic shame recovery sounds like exposure therapy. I definately appreciate your enthusiasm. Its obvious you have put a lot of research into this.
Yes, my last step - that I talk about in my main thread - does sound a bit like exposure therapy. However, what I talk about in my thread is to first
do a lot
of 'inner work' instead of just jumping in and doing "exposure" type stuff ("exposure stuff" meaning that of socializing and interacting with others). When one corrects his or her thinking - in that nobody is better than anyone else, etc. - then it will be easier to go out and interact with others. It will obviously be a gradual
process and this is why I say a person needs to interact with others a little at a time (but remember to do this after
you've do your inner work that I talked about earlier in this post). This interacting you do with other people is what will help you gain what Bradshaw calls "the mirroring eyes" of others. You will see through their mirroring eyes that you are a good and worthy person ... just as anyone else is. Obviously you cannot expect to get the right mirroring eyes from those that brought shame upon you. The mirroring eyes need to come from non
As I said before, it is not impossible for anyone to gain benefit from cbt or any other therapy. Every therapy manages to benefit a certain number of people. I'm just saying I believe that the way John Bradshaw and similar experts advocate is the best and most natural way to heal one's toxic shame (and it's accompanying symptoms such as SA). I've done it and I know others can too.