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If you’ve ever thought that you’re not enough – not smart enough, attractive enough, fast enough, experienced enough – then you’ve known shame. And if you’ve ever thought to yourself: “Who the heck do I think I am?,” then you’ve also experienced shame.

According to renowned researcher Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, “shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing you are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.” She believes that human beings are wired for connection – which more and more research is supporting – and that we will feel shame when our connections are threatened. She also states that shame is an epidemic in our world and that, while we cannot become resistant to shame, we can develop shame-resilience.

To help clients do so, New Leaf Center will offer our annual presentation of Connections: A Workshop Series to Cultivate Shame-Resilience based on Brené Brown’s work. The 10-week program will take place on Wednesday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. beginning on January 17, 2018 and running through March 21, 2018. This powerful, interactive workshop series will help participants transform the way they respond to the universal experience of shame and will feature short videos of Brené Brown exploring the topic.

Shame-resilience is best conceptualized as a continuum – with shame, fear, blame, and disconnection anchoring one end; and empathy, courage, compassion, and connection anchoring the other end. Our level of shame-resilience is determined by our combined ability to recognize:

(1) Shame and our specific triggers,
(2) Our level of critical awareness,
(3) Our willingness to reach out to others, and
(4) Our ability to speak shame.

Those with higher levels of shame-resilience recognize shame when they experience it and their shame triggers. Understanding our triggers allows us to better recognize shame and reach out for support from emotionally safe people.

For details about the Connections workshop series, call New Leaf Center at (407) 644-8588 or visit the Workshops and Special Programs section of our website.

For details about the Connections workshop series, call New Leaf Center at (407) 644-8588 or visit the Workshops and Special Programs section of our website.

Jackie MacKay, M.A., LMHC, NCC, CSAT

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