It is possible that, because psychologists feel secure in regard to their work in diagnosis, and somewhat insecure in the newer field of therapy, they tend to postpone its consideration. As to the third reason, (c), most psychiatrists regard it as extremely unfortunate that the medical student receives so little training in understanding or handling emotional problems prior to his medical degree. It seems unnecessary for psychology and related professional groups to copy the mistakes of medical education. The whole point of view which has been expressed on these issues may be summarized in a few sentences. Shame takes on nuanced meanings based on other identities. For example, anti-Black sexual racism and white supremacy means that Black people with penises are already hypersexualized and forced to feel shame should they not live up to the sexual standards assigned to them. As another example, trans men and transmasculine people are often subject to others' constraining beliefs about penises/penis size defining masculinity, and shame about their penis size may be tinged with the fear that a small or nonexistent penis impedes their ability to be seen and respected for their true identity. We may also feel shame for the things we do to try to get people's approval--things related to money, sex, work, status, appearance, whatever it is--and then feel ashamed about that for being inauthentic. Then we often add insult to injury by feeling ashamed of being ashamed. The more you're ashamed of, the less comfortable you feel expressing yourself and the more your creativity is inhibited. Shame inhibits full development. REFLECTED SHAME You can feel shame not only about your own flaws, but also about other people's behaviors, particularly those closest to you, like your partner or child. Psychologists call this reflected shame. My friend's mother exclaimed, Even though I've never been to Paris or visited the Eiffel Tower, in some real ways I feel I have. When my granddaughter would FaceTime me, it felt like I was really there with her! Another story comes to mind that illustrates the power of technology deepening our emotional intimacy with others. It happened while I was away with extended family. At that time, our cousin's two sons were literally across the country, visiting our other family members and having a vacation of their own. I was intrigued to see how my cousin stayed closely connected to her sons while they were miles apart, each engaged in exciting activities with our other family members.

Her sons used FaceTime to stay connected, and they enriched their text communications by sending pictures and video. Technology was connecting them in ways that weren't possible in the predigital era. Following are a few strategies you can start using right away to deepen your relationships--both virtual and real-life. Recommendations Training in psychotherapy exists in varying degrees. If the orientation is in the direction of a permissive and noncoercive therapy, then some training is better than none, more training is better than some. As to the time when such training might be given, some of its basic principles, as they apply to human relationships in general, might be taught at the high school or college level. For the person who is acquiring therapeutic skills as a part of his professional training, there seems every reason to provide this training as a part of his graduate education prior to his doctoral degree. In an effort to make this picture more specific, a brief account will be given of two brief training programs in psychotherapy and one longer and more comprehensive program. We are fortunate in having a research analysis of one of the brief programs. BRIEFTRAINING INPSYCHOTHERAPY A Program for Physicians There are published accounts of two ventures in which the modest aim was to facilitate the maximal learning of therapeutic skills in a short period of time. The first is a medical venture, well described by Smith (226, pp. A poignant example of reflected shame is the shame my parents felt when I stumbled on the modeling runway. In their minds, they were publicly humiliated for raising a child who failed so magnificently as a girl. Let's give my parents a break and consider another example that can help flesh out this idea. Imagine your teen daughter regularly gets into trouble. She's gotten suspensions from school, abuses drugs and alcohol, and is rude and disrespectful to you and other adults. Other parents try to keep their kids away from her for fear of her influence.

When your child is making poor choices and acting out, it's easy to consider that a reflection of your poor parenting, to wonder where you went wrong, and to fear what others may be thinking. You may feel many painful emotions besides shame. It's likely you're angry with her, that you're worried she could hurt herself, that you fear for her future, and that you feel guilty about your parenting decisions. Here's the deal: your child's behavior is not a mirror reflecting how you did as a parent. Keep a journal of your social-media habits. Record how many times per day you log on to social media and the amount of time you spend on these sites. Take note of things like the time of day you are most likely to log on and how you feel before and after you log on. For many of us, logging on to social media is a reflexive behavior. Getting honest with yourself about how often you interact with social media on a daily basis is a big step toward cultivating self-awareness. Commit to making your closest relationships emotionally intimate. Emotional intimacy is built up over time. Practice being open and vulnerable in the presence of a person you trust, like a best friend, partner, or family member. Increase your rich-media communications. An example would be communicating by FaceTime, Skype, or video conferencing. This was an attempt by a group of well-known psychiatrists to provide training in therapy for physicians who were, for the most part, general practitioners. While the orientation was eclectic rather than client-centered, it is brought in for consideration because it is so similar to several institutes carried on from a client-centered point of view. There were twenty-five physicians in the group, and the course lasted for two intensive weeks. It was held at the University of Minnesota in April, 1946. The general purpose and orientation of the teachers was to give the physician a deeper understanding of psychological problems in his patients, to encourage more listening and a more empathic attitude on the part of the physicians, and to give training in procedures which could be used therapeutically by the physician in his general practice. The major elements of the course which seem to have furthered these aims are as follows.

Lectures by various psychiatrists on different phases of therapy and related problems. The topics were selected and planned by the leaders. An immediate introduction to the therapeutic handling of cases. On the first day the physicians were given a lecture in the morning, and in the afternoon a number of them were holding interviews with patients who had been assigned to them because of presumed psychological maladjustment. You can influence your child, but you can't possibly control or be responsible for your child's choices. Nor can you control what others think about you. You can only control how you think about yourself and how you respond to others. So, give yourself a break, okay? Similarly, when our partner embarrasses us, it feels like a reflection of who we are--after all, we picked this person. Everyone does something hurtful or embarrassing once in a while. The question is really not whether our partners or friends will ever embarrass us or induce our shame--they will--the question is how we manage that shame. Let's look at some examples of reflected shame in action to see the learning experience. I was at a party recently, composed of social justice activists and their plus-ones (and in one case, their plus-two),
and a colleague's partner unwittingly made a racist joke, an offense that those who were directly invited to the party just wouldn't have committed in this way. My colleague's face flushed red. Being able to talk in real time and being able to see the person's body language and hearing their vocal tone and inflictions are important components for developing genuine emotional attunement and emotional intimacy. Make digital-sharing multimedia. For example, include pictures and videos in your CMCs to increase feelings of genuine social presence and emotional intimacy by simply allowing others to see you. Sigmund Freud to his fiancee, Martha Bernays, June 27, 1882, in Letters of Sigmund Freud, 1873-1939, ed. Freud, trans. Tania Stern and James Stern (London: Hogarth Press, 1960, 1961), 28.

Harvard Health Publishing, Can Relationships Boost Longevity and Well-being? Harvard Health Letter, last modified September 24, 2019, https://webcache. Attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca. Shoba Sreenivasan and Linda E. The aim was to have one of the psychiatrists in on at least some part of this interview. This policy of contact with cases was maintained so that most of the physicians managed to have several interviews with these patients during the two weeks' course. The contacts were then closed or the patient transferred to some other member of the hospital staff. Discussion of these cases, accompanied by supervisory teaching, was another major element in the course. Every effort was made to get group consideration of the cases being handled. The physician-trainee presented his case, which was then discussed by the group and by some of the psychiatrists in charge. The group lived and ate together in a dormitory setting, and the informality of the group and the self-education which went on in the continuing informal discussions was regarded by all as a very significant part of the curriculum. This short institute was regarded as definitely successful both by those who planned and conducted it and by those who participated in it. It would seem to indicate that even a two weeks' training program may be effective in reaching realistic goals. A Brief Program for Personal Counselors In the example described here, it offered my colleague a great opportunity to use their shame to an advantage and to gently educate. Their partner, having sensed that they made a mistake, took in the feedback and apologized. The shame was used to transform the situation, and the story had a happy ending. Another friend has a spouse whom she feels, to put it kindly, lacks social finesse. This is due to a disorder that he can do little about called autism spectrum disorder. He's also extremely intelligent, another frequent hallmark of being on the spectrum.