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Traces of Shame

Traces of Shame

In Patrick Susskind’s novel Perfume, the protagonist, Grenouille, is able to concoct fragrances that overwhelm those inhaling them with a sense of the fragile beauty of lost innocence. Liberally using perfume in this way he brings to control even a crowd who, seconds before, would have killed him: they halt their attack and revere him.
Machiavellians do not inhabit the realm of emotion or morality in the same way as others, yet they use these realms to manipulate others.
This paper suggests that part of what makes a Machiavellian personality style is the attempt to deal with shame, once and for all, by bypassing it. Internalized unconscious shame can rob us of a willingness to trust. It makes us unwilling to risk transparency to others about our aims and ideals, to risk an unrequited smile and the hope for kind treatment.
Using Machiavellians as a case study, I explore how shame can alienate us from others and from parts of ourselves, Gollum-like, diminishing the integrity of our personality. I describe psychoanalytic features of developmental environments, which promote shame-proneness and highlight ways of working with people who have drawn dark conclusions about self and others.
Conference: Demo
Areas of Interest / Categories: Shame

Shame

Community Outreach to Young People Experiencing Homelessness.

Self-hatred in Psychotherapy: one of the most difficult things to treat

Shame and Belonging

One of the greatest strengths of the Gestalt model is its relational, intersubjective understanding of people and their development.  In this video, Robert Lee explores three aspects that are central to the Gestalt way of understanding/diagnosing, interacting with/treating clients and being with people in general .

From sadness, shame and subordination to empowered pride - children's recovering from domestic violence and the role of individual counseling

Recent research and social debate and policy have directed increased attention to the many children who - on single occasions or repeatedly during their entire childhood - experience their parents'violence

Normal and deviant brain maturation and the development of consciousness

Always daddy's little girl: Incestuous abuse during adulthood

The research and clinical experience of the author working long-term with patients with Dissociative Identity Disorder is that at the time of presentation as adults approximately one in eight report incestuous abuse continuing into the adult years and in this group for many, the abuse is current and ongoing. Such patients typically have been sexually abused from a very early age, with the manipulation of their sexual response a key component in building an enduring sexualized attachment, at the same time as using shame as a key component in maintaining compliance and silence. Although rarely a focus of clinical enquiry, typically such women, when able to speak of it will describe the induction by their paternal abuser of orgasm at a very young age, typically around the age of six. 

Shame and complex traumatisation: attitudes to therapeutic interventions for shame in those with dissociative identity disorder

Within the clinical setting, shame can manifest as a central self-conscious emotion in the aetiology and maintencance of psychological problems. In chronic manifestations, typically present in