- Accept a person’s shame. Do not try to combat it: “You shouldn’t feel that way.” You run the risk of making the person feel shame about sharing original feelings of shame.
- Employ empathy. Let the person feel comfort in knowing that you can identify with what they are experiencing.
- Create a safe space. This is extremely important, a person needs to feel safe in order to share their feelings of shame. They need to know they aren’t at risk to experience more shame.
- Normalize shame. It’s not an uncommon phenomenon. Shame is a feeling experienced by almost everyone at some point and time. It’s important to normalize these feelings because people dealing with shame often feel like they’re alone in their feelings.
- Be patient. Shame, especially chronic cases, cannot disappear after one conversation. Reducing shame is a slow process that requires a lot of listening, empathy, and time.
Shame is a very complex. If you or anyone you know is experiencing shame please do not hesitate to send them to Philadelphia MFT, the therapists here work hard to provide a safe and non judgemental space to begin the healing process.
This topic of the week was written by Malyka Cardwell, MFT