Toxic Shame and Vicious Spirals

Image: Henrik Uldalen – Inhal

The emotion of shame evolved to warn us that our behaviour is jeopardizing either important relationships or our place in the group. Shame, in this form, is healthy and protective.

However, shame can turn toxic and be destructive. Toxic shame is an enduring conviction that we are so intrinsically flawed that we will forever be unworthy of supportive relationships and a place in a group.

Once toxic shame is internalised, we turn it in on ourselves and out on to others. Vicious, self-perpetuating and traumatising spirals ensues. This webinar illuminates these spirals, looking at how they harm our relationship with ourselves, other people and our children.

In this webinar, participants will learn:

  • How to distinguish healthy and toxic shame.
  • How healthy and toxic shame interact.
  • Why toxic shame often goes unrecognised.
  • How unrecognised toxic shame distorts how we see ourselves and others.   
  • How unrecognised toxic shame drives self-traumatising behaviour. 
  • How unrecognised toxic shame drives people to behave in ways that traumatise others.
  • How parents with unrecognised toxic shame, unwittingly create toxic shame in their children.
  • How unrecognised and unaddressed toxic shame creates more toxic shame. 

The goals of this Webinar:

  • Develop greater awareness and understanding of toxic shame and the dynamics it creates. 
  • Set the stage to begin a process of healing toxic shame. 

Future webinars on shame are planned. They will explore:

  • Ways that toxic shame is initially created.
  • What is involved in healing toxic shame.

Is this webinar right for you?

  • This webinar has been created for both the general public and mental health professionals.  
  • I have been researching this topic for over 20 years. I work hard to present ideas in a manner that is not only accessible and engaging, but also nuanced and layered.
  • I am not a therapist, and this webinar is intended to be educational, rather than ‘therapeutic’. 
  • I have given this presentation at (1) the IAJS and (2) the C.G.Jung lecture series in Bristol. If you attended either of those, this may not be for you.

Image: Suzanne Tucker – shutterstock

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