Shame and Identity: A Relational Developmental approach to working with Children and Young People – MSc Joanna Hewitt Evans, psychotherapist

Dear Colleagues, Members and Friends of BHIDAPA,

Shame and Identity:
A Relational Developmental approach to working with Children and Young People

was held
12th.-13th March, 2016. 

Module was led by MSc. Joanna Hewitt Evans, integrative psychotherapist
Director of EUROIPS, UK


The module was held for students from Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who are in the European Educational Program in Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

“Children are born wired for relationship. As neuroscience confirms they thrive on attunement and connection. Disruptions to contact, to a child’s spontaneous yearning to be seen, result in shame, often referred to as ‘the master emotion’. Repeated experiences of shame impact the development of identity, lead to unhelpful defences and the loss of aspects of the self. In this workshop we have had explored the phenomenology and aetiology of shame, and also the ways in which we defend against it. We have considered our personal experience of and responses to shame as well as those of our child and adolescent clients. As Siegel reminds us, it is important we attend to our own oxygen mask first before we can safely take care of the needs of others. The workshop has included theory and experiential exercises, that can be used with children and young people, in order to help build resilience to shame, as well as the opportunity for personal work and supervision.”

Who am I when shame overwhelms me? What I think, what I feel when I want to disappear from shame. How can I balance myself and others if my shame blurs my gaze. To illuminate the dark spaces filled with shame in ourselves is the path we take in ourselves and the world, and when we are most ashamed and shame stops us from making contact, the only hope for recovery is contact. How do you encourage yourself and show yourself, and thus gain the respect and love of others? But what would a world be without shame?
The wisdom is to find balance.

Thanks Nina for the professional translation during the workshop!

With joy and respect,
Module leader and graduate students of
integrative child and adolescent psychotherapy