Therapist Blog


Removing Shame

Almost all parents and individuals arrive at this blog with the intention of wanting to help themselves or their teens. Perhaps you're thinking what is it going to take to finally be free of this pain and hurt, or perhaps you are in a "fix it" mode. Either way, you'll want to think about how to go about it in a healthy, effective and productive manner. There are tips on how to remove shame from parents and when "parenting yourself" with that inner voice, which I will list in a little bit. First off what is "shame" it is the inner experience of being "not wanted", it is feeling worthless, rejection, and being cast-out. Shame can be so painful, and debilitating that people develop a thousand coping strategies, conscious and unconscious, numbing and destructive, to avoid its tortures and soul crushing ways. Shame is the worst possible thing that can happen, because shame, in its profoundest meaning, conveys that one is not fit to live in one's own community or exist in a family unit without complying to its standards. It often creates unhealthy core beliefs in a person, such as believing they are always the victim or always the abuser, it sets people up to have low self-esteem, often the individual develops a controlling, rigid, and perfectionist personality. 

So to move beyond shame here are some helpful tips:

  • Start by loving yourself. Look inward and see that you need loving-kindness and let go of the guilt over past wrong deeds and realize that you are not bad. Perhaps you've done "bad things" and regret them and vow not to repeat them, but you are not bad.
  • Create affirmations that allow you to be who you are without any contingencies, example "I am smart, capable, and beautiful" or "I can do anything I put my mind to".
  • Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable is part of feeling connected. It’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. When we’re willing to risk being vulnerable and fully human, we open to our humanity. Vulnerability is big medicine. It is the truth that sets you free, lightens your heart, and heals your world.

  • Find some humor in your situation. Shame can’t live in an atmosphere of humor and light. Having a laugh at yourself, the Universe or at your circumstances can help to release any anger and tension associated with your shame. 

  • Own your story, because its all you, and it doesn't need to be in the dark no matter what your story is. By keeping your story in the dark, you are giving it power. Talk to your therapist, journal, talk to a trusted individual and tell your story when you feel safe enough to do so. 

Use these tools and you can help yourself heal from issues around:

  • Addiction
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Eating disorders
  • Perfectionism and other compulsive behaviors
  • Chronic pain
  • Digestive issues
  • Social phobias

Reach out today if you'd like to find out more ways to work towards healing from Shame. 


The fear of failure.

Or as I have deemed it, persistent fear of messing it all up. 

Fear, is as much, if not precisely the same as anxiety. The fear of failure however is quiet specific in its hold on a person. It will strike only when success is the primary goal. However success can mean just about anything; successful relationship, successful career, success in raising children, success in finances, success at being popular. So this fear leads you to have no choice, except to be PERFECT.
Perfectionism, the constant sneaking feeling that what you’ve done is just never quiet enough. Spinning your wheels to run faster, work longer, climb higher, be something more than what you are, “I mean come on, clearly what and who you are clearly isn’t anything decent” said the voice of shame.
We say things to ourselves that we’d never say out loud to another person because, well we’d just be a bully. We bully ourselves into many things, we shame, and guilt ourselves into doing things that are for…. Who? Ourselves, our partners, our parents, our peers… 

For example right now, I am attempting to write a personal statement. I’ve probably have edited it about 20 times, have had my brother edit it 5, and well I still think its not ready to be submitted. The pressure and stakes are too high to not be diligent, I tell myself. Because this statement will be read over in 5 minutes by the admissions board, and thats all the time I have to impress them initially. Then again, its only worth 5 minutes of their time.
What is a girl to do?

The only solace I can conjure at this moment is, I can just keep trying and to shut down my inner bully with statements like “I’m doing the best I can” (even if I have to mumble it to myself thousands of times).