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Connections - A Workshop Program to Cultivate Self-Worth

Connections – A Workshop Program to Cultivate Self-Worth

Based on the work of Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW

If you’ve ever thought that you’re not enough, then you have felt shame. The ways we think we’re not enough is endless. Not smart enough, fast enough, good-looking enough…

There’s another voice of shame. “Who the heck do you think you are?” “You should be ashamed of yourself.” “You’re too big for your britches.” “You think you’re better than us.” These types of messages try to put us in our place. They push us down.

Well-known author, teacher and therapist Brené Brown defines shame as “the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing you are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.” She calls shame an epidemic in our world. It’s everywhere – at home and at work. Parents, teachers, bosses and co-workers try to motivate us with shame. But shame actually de-motivates us. It shuts us down. It sabotages us.

We can’t not feel shame. It’s a natural human experience. As long as we want to be loved by others, we will feel shame. As long as we want to belong in this world, we will feel shame. But we can learn to move through shame in a healthy way that builds stronger relationships.

Shame-resilience is best explained along a straight line. Shame, fear, blame, and disconnection anchor one end. On the other end is empathy, courage, compassion, and connection. The force that moves us from one end of the line to the other is our vulnerability. The more vulnerable we are, the more we experience empathy, courage, compassion, and connection. The less vulnerable we are, the more we experience shame, fear, blame, and disconnection.

If we want more empathy, courage, compassion and connection in our lives, we have to take risks in our relationships. We have to be vulnerable.

Unlike many of us think, vulnerability isn’t a weakness. It’s actually knowing where you are open to attack. How could others take advantage of you? What weaknesses could they use? If you know this, you can protect yourself in those areas of your life. That means you’re strong when you’re vulnerable!

Showing vulnerability with safe people usually leads to empathy from them. That’s what heals shame – empathy! We can learn empathy. It has four parts:

  • Walking in another person’s shoes and seeing the world through his or her eyes
  • Observing his or her world with NO JUDGMENT! (This part trips up most of us!)
  • Understanding what he or she might be feeling
  • Communicating that understanding to the other person

Just like with empathy, we can learn to handle shame in a healthy way. To do that, Brené says we need to recognize:

  • Shame and our specific triggers,
  • Our level of critical awareness,
  • Our willingness to reach out to others, and
  • Our ability to speak shame.

In other words, people with high levels of shame-resilience recognize shame when they experience it. They know their shame triggers. They’re willing to reach out for support when they feel shame. And, most importantly, they can speak about it with people they trust. Talking about shame lessens its power over us.

This workshop explores these ideas and more through videos of Brené Brown’s powerful teachings. Then interactive exercises about shame-resilience bring her teachings to life. The series helps participants change the way they respond to the universal experience of shame.

Participants are required to commit to both workshops. Anyone who hasn’t been a client at New Leaf Center is required to see the workshop facilitator for an individual session before the workshop begins. An individual session is $160 and is not included in the workshop fee.

Saturday, May 11, 2023; 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18, 2023; 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

New Leaf Center

Jackie MacKay, M.A., LMHC, NCC, Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Lisa Calleja, M.A., MBA, RMHCI, CSAT Candidate, Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern

$500 per person


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