2016-2017 Study Group


Study Group 2016-17

Shame: the dreaded desire to disappear or destroy

 Alexis Johnson, PhD

SW-CPE has been approved to provide continuing education to LMSWs and LCSWs in New York State

We all know the feeling of shame in it’s various forms from mild embarrassment to deep mortification.  Silvan Tomkin’s research brought shame into the clinical foreground.  In his model, shyness, shame and guilt are part of the same ‘affect assembly’ capable of interrupting any positive feeling or behavior.   Donald Nathanson expanded Tomkin’s work into clinical practice, adding psychoanalytic theories, attachment theory and the importance of affective communication.  For him and many others, shame is a primary affect underlying the sense of defect experienced by people with borderline, narcissistic and other self-hate issues.  Currently Patricia DeYoung explores shame as an experience of one’s felt sense of self disintegrating in relation to a dysregulating other.  This seminar will explore all of these ideas in relation to our personal sense of self, our professional cases and our clinical approaches.

We will use two books to deepen our experience: Patricia DeYoung’s Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame (2015) and a book edited by DL Nathanson, The Many Faces of Shame (1987) as well as an article written by the presenter.

We will meet 9 times from September, 2016 through June, 2017 on Fridays from 2:00-4:00pm.  Please note that the dates are irregular due to my schedule.


Sep 16 – DeYoung: Shame is relational

Chapters 1&2


Oct 7 – DeYoung: The relational brain

Chapters 3,4,& 5


Nov 4 – HB Lewis: Shame and the Narcissistic Personality

In Nathanson, Chapter 3


Dec 2 – DL Nathanson: Shaming Systems in Couples, Families and Institutions

In Nathanson, Chapter 8


Feb 3 – A Morrison: The Eye Turned Inward, Shame and the Self

In Nathanson, Chapter 9


Mar 10 – CD Schneider: A Mature Sense of Shame

In Nathanson, Chapter 6


Apr 7 – A Johnson:  Healing Shame

Article I will give out


May 5 – DeYoung: Working with shame

Chapters 6.7 & 8


Jun 2 – De Young: Dissociated shame

Chapter 9, 10 & 11


Cost: $600 for the year.  Location:  96 Bouton Road, South Salem, NY 10590

If you are interested in participating, please send a $200 deposit with the check made out to Alexis Johnson and send it to 96 Bouton Road, South Salem, NY 10590.




Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.