Engaging Shame with Brainspotting
With Michael Maley, PhD, LP, Certified Brainspotting Therapist
The ways in which the affect and emotion of shame influence personal change is one of the least known and most troublesome aspects of psychotherapeutic work. Shame affects every aspect of our emotional life, and along with emotional flooding, represents the most common sources of difficulties with processing. The presence of shame is difficult to detect, has often not been a conscious part of the client’s experience, and by its very nature both hides underlying issues and creates confusion.
This presentation outlines the basic nature of the shame experience and its physiological foundations; the importance of Polyvagal Theory in understanding shame; the role shame plays in blocking the processing of symptoms, and the tools that Brainspotting uses to help the client move through the shame experience, including the importance of attunement, and the function of shame in managing the underlying traumatic material.
Discussed are the many faces of shame in clinical work—how it occurs in trauma, depression, attachment patterns, and social violence; the neurophysiology of the shame response; some ways to educate the client about shame; and how to work with it in implicit memory networks, cognitively, and somatically as a freezing response when it occurs during processing.
Michael J. Maley Ph.D. is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice in psychology in Minnetonka, MN. At the present time he is a Certified Brainspotting Practitioner, and an EMDR Approved Consultant. He has taught Advanced EMDR specialty workshops in Shame, Somatic Resourcing, Somatic Disorders, and Trauma. He was a senior trainer for the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis and currently teaches seminars on the somatic dimensions of trauma treatment for the New Zealand Bioenergetic Society. He is the author of Living in the Question: An Exploration of Formlessness, Change, and Healing, and a co-author of The Book of the Eights.
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