Yonasan Bender
Yonasan Bender
Psychotherapist and Clinical Director of Jerusalem Therapy

How To Shake Yourself Out of Shame

How To Shake Yourself Out of Shame

We do shame badly. Very very badly. There’s no understatement and I’m willing to throw in a third “very.” We do shame very, very, very badly. The mistake we make with how we do shame is that we treat this feeling as if it’s who we are deep down inside. When we don’t measure up with those we care about, we take it on as our identity. We make it personal and use it as another piece of evidence against us. It’s like we decided to pack up our healthy self-image, chuck it into a U-Haul, and move into the worst part of town. Shame is not our street address and it’s not a place to wallow or ruminate in. Shame is not who we are.

It’s understandable shame can rock us the way it does. It’s an extremely loud emotion. However, when we identify with our shame we miss out on its usefulness. In reality, shame is an important tool that we don’t want to ignore or rationalize away. There’s a reason shame is so loud and that it pops up when things aren’t going quite right. It has to be loud because it’s job is to protect those things that make us who we are the most. It’s the reminder of the things we care about and what we want to work towards. In reality, shame is a compass that leads us towards the best parts of ourselves. The only catch is it only starts to rattle and shake when we veer off course.

Instead of beating yourself up that you aren’t who you want to be with your kids or spouse take a moment. Look down at the compass instead of getting wrapped up in it.  Which direction is that needle pointing? What do you want to do? How do you want things to be with those you care about? What is meaningful to you? Once you get yourself reoriented, take a few moments to thank shame for shaking you awake. Then look forward and get back on track moving forward in the direction that is most meaningful to you.

About the Author
Yonasan Bender is a psychotherapist and the clinical director of Jerusalem Therapy. He is a graduate of Hebrew University’s Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social Welfare. He completed post graduate training in a wide array of therapeutic approaches ranging from CBT to Psychodynamic therapies. Before Hebrew University, he studied at Washington University in St. Louis and Drake University. Yonasan majored in philosophy and ethics. Yonasan is a member of the Association For Contextual Behavioral Science. He’s a key member of the clinical team at The Place, the Jerusalem Centre for Emotional Wellbeing. Yonasan has collaborated with other mental health organizations like Machon Dvir as a Dialectical Behavioral Therapist skills trainer. He’s also served a group leader for the National Educational Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder’ Family Connections program. He specializes in treating anxiety, depression, anger, poor self-esteem, insomnia, psychosis, autism, personality disorders, and marital conflict. He has an extensive background working with individuals, couples, families, and children.
Related Topics
Related Posts
Comments