1st Edition

Shame, Pride, and Relational Trauma Concepts and Psychotherapy

By Ken Benau Copyright 2022
    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    274 Pages
    by Routledge

    Shame, Pride, and Relational Trauma is a guide to recognizing the many ways shame and pride lie at the heart of psychotherapy with survivors of relational trauma. In these pages, readers learn how to differentiate shame and pride as emotional processes and traumatic mind/body states. They will also discover how understanding the psychodynamic and phenomenological relationships between shame, pride, and dissociation benefit psychotherapy with relational trauma. Next, readers are introduced to fifteen attitudes, principles, and concepts that guide this work from a transtheoretical perspective. Therapists will learn about ways to conceptualize and successfully navigate complex, patient-therapist shame dynamics, and apply neuroscientific findings to this challenging work. Finally, readers will discover how the concept and phenomena of pro-being pride, that is delighting in one's own and others' unique aliveness, helps patients transcend maladaptive shame and pride and experience greater unity within, with others, and with the world beyond.

    1. Shame, Pride, and Relational Trauma: What Are They and Why Do They Matter in Psychotherapy?  2. Shame and Pride: Subtypes and Processes  3. Shame, Pride, Mind/Body Leave Taking, and Structural Dissociation: Psychodynamics, Phenomenology, and Psychotherapy  4. Setting the Stage: Transtheoretical Attitudes, Principles, and Concepts When Working with Shame and Pride in Psychotherapy with Relational Trauma  5.Psychotherapy with Patient, Therapist, and Dyadic Shame States: Traumatic Reactions, Therapeutic Responses, and Transformation  6. From Shame to Pride: Psychotherapy, Neuroscience, and Applications—Three Perspectives  7.Shame State to a Core Way of Being: Beyond Pro-being Pride to Radiant Joy, Grief, Integration, and Oneness


    Ken Benau, PhD, has a private practice in psychotherapy, consultation, and training in the San Francisco Bay Area.

    "Ken Benau has made a major contribution not only to the understanding of shame and pride, but also to the field of psychotherapy itself. By providing a finely detailed and clearly explained taxonomy of shame and pride feelings and states, this book reveals the pervasiveness of these experiential phenomena, especially amidst the wide domain of relational trauma, and highlights the great clinical value of being able to recognize, differentiate, and work directly with them. As he says about shame, ‘to not name shame is to do shame's bidding.’ And with great sensitivity and respect, he indicates the challenges that not only patients have in such naming, but also how hard it is for therapists to experience, let alone name, their own shame and/or pride amidst the psychotherapy process. Offering detailed, annotated transcripts of several psychotherapy sessions that he conducted, he brings the conceptual system to life and presents an integrated, multimodal approach to healing the problematic aspects of shame and pride and facilitating the potentials for some forms of these to reflect and enhance well-being and even flourishing. Readers interested in the neuroscientific aspects of shame and pride phenomena will appreciate the detailed exploration of these in the context of one of the therapy session transcripts. This book is a tremendously rich resource that integrates and builds beyond what has come before in this field. It has great conceptual and clinical value and is clearly the fruit of not only a fine and expansive mind but also a warm and open heart."

    David S. Elliott, PhD, coauthor of Attachment Disturbances in Adults: Treatment for Comprehensive Repair


    "This book is the most comprehensive guide to thinking about shame and its treatment written so far! Shame and pride are discussed in all their different guises and presentations, along with somatic, relational, and visualization approaches to treatment. Densely written and theoretical, yet offering practical applications as well."

    Janina Fisher, PhD, assistant educational director, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors and Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma


    "A marvelous book! Benau introduces an integrated view of traumatic shame states and its neglected counterpart, pride states. Accessible and erudite, he presents a bridge from theory/concepts to the treatment of patients suffering from maladaptive shame and pride. Therapists learn to navigate ruptures and impasses, creating golden opportunities for transformation. This is a must read for anyone dealing with shame with relational trauma in psychotherapy."

    Hanna Levenson, PhD, professor at the Wright Institute in California, USA


    "Clinical and scientific progress oftentimes depends on a useful differentiation and integration of concepts. Ken Benau’s present text is a noteworthy and admirable instance of this. He starts by carefully distinguishing and analyzing several kinds of shame and pride. From there, he details how grasping the proposed subtypes helps clinicians to affectively, empathically, and cognitively meet individuals who suffer from the problematic forms of these social emotions. His case examples serve as a major inspiration for therapists who aspire to help people develop more efficient and effective ways of relating to themselves and others. Recommended!"

    Ellert Nijenhuis, PhD, independent psychologist and psychotherapist in The Netherlands and Portugal