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How Compassion Can Heal Shame from Childhood

This is a great article by Beverly Engel about shame. She provides a great description of shame and how it can develop from our childhood experiences. As children we were vulnerable to the experiences of powerlessness and helplessness. Usually these experiences were tied to shame teaching us to learn ways to defend ourselves from ever having to experience shame again. These learned behaviours may have helped us as children to survive but in adulthood they affect our relationships to others and ourselves. Shame and the associated core beliefs of not being lovable, being bad, and not deserving of love are one of the driving forces in addiction and many other mental illnesses. Fortunately there is a way to mitigate the effects of shame in our lives and therapy can provide a space where compassion and care can be learned.



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