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Shame and the Dilemma of Human Destructiveness: A Bioenergetic View

North America
Date: 16/03/2019 00:00 - 17/03/2019 00:00

Venue: 131 West 24th Street, 7th Floor (Schneider), New York  |  City: New York, United States

Shame and the Dilemma of Human Destructiveness: A Bioenergetic View

20190316 USA NYK

Shame is among the most immediate examples of somatopsychic experience. The moment of cringing, pulling the surface of the body inward, making everything smaller, the feeling of wishing to disappear, the flood of burning sensation, and the identification of badness are bound in an inextricable weave.

Shame is an evolutionary device to alert us that we have done something harmful. Something we consider wrong. Its use is easily perverted to the purposes of domination and exploitation of one person by another. Understanding both the essential function of shame and its misuse are critical for a successful psychotherapeutic approach to the release from neurotic shame and the constraints of its use to oppress and silence.

Human destructiveness has always been a focus in the theory of the structure of personality in psychodynamic thinking and practice. Facing the force of destructive impulses and behaviors, and the defenses and dodges we develop to avoid facing that is essential to the work of psychotherapy. Focusing only on the alleviation of the crushing weight of destructive shame creates a one-sided view of the project of therapy.

Using a bioenergetic perspective offers a way to understand and encounter the weave of body-state, emotion, and self-relationship, without arbitrary separations between these different dimensions. The stages of psychotherapy that include contacting the inner state of chronic cringing and self-denigration, expanding consciousness of this state, and then developing a healthy self-defensive self-representation without denying the essential constructive functions of shame are integral to the model of therapy in Modern Bioenergetics.

This workshop will afford participants an opportunity to:

  • Locate the psychosomatic experience of shame in themselves
  • Examine that experience from a clinical perspective
  • Use their own experience or that of patients with whom they work

Register for the Workshop



131 W 24th St, New York
NY 10011, United States




All Dates

  • From 16/03/2019 00:00 to 17/03/2019 00:00
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