I got an email from someone asking about what techniques to use to deal with chronic shame.
Shame is a feeling about who you are. It is a belief that something about you, something core to who you are, is permanently wrong, bad, not fitting with what other people expect.
Nobody is born with shame. Shame is something that other people put there. You might have done something, real or imagined, that other people told you was unforgivable, or that you personally decided other people could never forgive or forget. When you believe that your actions are unforgivable, then you walk around with that shame permanently on you.
However, nothing is unforgivable. There is nothing a person has done that they can not make amends for. And in most cases, the shame is something imposed by the person on to themselves. It is a personal belief, created and maintained and carried by that person. It is in fact that the person cannot forgive themself.
So the way to get rid of the feeling is find a way to get forgiveness.
There are many techniques available.
The right approach depends on whether the shame is due to something you did and remember, or if it is some general feeling not attached to any particular action.
The NLP technique of reframing might work to put the action into a different perspective.
Gestalt change techniques can be applied directly to the feeling in your body, and change the feeling.
Ordeal therapy might be appropriate here, depending on your personal spiritual beliefs.
Metaphor in hypnosis can be used to get a Power Figure to give you the forgiveness you need. That is the one that I would try first.
However, everyone is unique, and it is always best to seek help from some experienced therapist who can spend time finding the source.
He is highly regarded in the hypnotherapy community. He is Vice President of the New Zealand Association of Professional Hypnotherapists (NZAPH).
He is regularly consulted for advice by other hypnotherapists around the world. He is known for the quality of his published scripts. He presents at international conferences and has published on hypnosis and advanced hypnotherapy.
He lives in Wellington New Zealand with his wife Trish and a cat called Parsnip.
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