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2017 Annual Conference and Expo Live Stream

190 - For Shame! The Neglected Emotion in PTSD

Mar 17, 2017 4:30pm ‐ Mar 17, 2017 5:30pm


The primary emotions of PTSD are usually considered to be fear and terror in reaction to external dangers. However, the perceived internal threat—fear of exposing one’s shame—is often the predominant emotion for trauma survivors. This session describes the development of shame, focuses on the crucial role that shame plays in PTSD, and concludes with demonstrations of how counselor immediacies can use experiences of shame in the session as opportunities to promote client self-empathy and enhance shame resilience.

Learning Objectives:

  • Distinguish shame from guilt and describe the common dynamics of shame experienced by clients with posttraumatic stress disorder in the counseling relationship
  • Summarize the developmental milestones of shame and other self-conscious emotions that deter trauma survivors from seeking counseling and undermine their willingness to be truly authentic in the counseling process
  • Use a variety of counseling techniques to promote self-empathy and enhance shame resilience in survivors of trauma-causing events


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