The Table

Continuing my series on objects in my office, today I’d like to write about the table I keep my computer on. This table probably never thought it would bear a computer in a therapist’s office and be used to write such high-falutin stuff as this. It began its life as the kitchen table of myContinue reading “The Table”

Shame

We have no emotion that’s not useful in some way. Everything is there for a purpose, even an emotion that undermines its purpose. I’m talking about shame. Its purpose seems to be to help us fit in with others. Shame, and its milder version, embarrassment, comes up when you violate a social norm which mightContinue reading “Shame”

Cleaning the Closet

Everyone’s got a closet where they put whatever they don’t want people to see. There’s good and bad stuff in the closet. There’s things you’re ashamed of. Memories of what you’ve done, words you’ve said, people you’ve hurt. You cram that closet full. It gets to be that you can’t even open the door toContinue reading “Cleaning the Closet”

How to Ditch Shame

You’ve done something wrong. You’ve not been as good as you could be. You hurt someone you love, someone who deserves better from you. This person might be a parent, a sibling, a child, a friend, a partner, or a spouse. Whoever it is; where you were once trustworthy, you’re now unreliable. You were close,Continue reading “How to Ditch Shame”

Guilt and Shame: Good and Bad Ways to Feel Bad

As soon as you see how you are responsible for trouble, you are met by two emotions who offer to be your guide: guilt and shame. Which one should you go with? Is there a difference between the two? It’s easy to confuse guilt with shame. People refer to them interchangeably, like twins who areContinue reading “Guilt and Shame: Good and Bad Ways to Feel Bad”

When You Arrive at a Watershed Moment, Cross It

We’re at a watershed moment on the Road to Reconciliation. It’s a crucial juncture where you go from thinking you’re just a victim to knowing that you’re a perpetrator, at least a partial perpetrator. You can admit you’ve victimized others, including the one who hurt you. It’s the moment you get real. It’s when youContinue reading “When You Arrive at a Watershed Moment, Cross It”