Episode 17

Keys To Understanding Shame and Trauma

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Episode 17

With a special guest, we dive into the unique relationship between shame and trauma, and why both should be worked on cohesively and strategically to better the individual’s growth.


  • The relationship between shame and trauma and how one usually doesn’t come with the other
  • How our clinicians approach an individual who has trauma, and where they start.
  • How the industry is focused on “trauma-informed”, but should also have a heavy focus on shame

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It is not that trauma that has caused them the problem, it is what they took away about themselves, what they believed about themselves, what they believed they lost, what they believed they disempowered about themselves, or what they had to protect themselves from; that’s important to release and relearn. Because most of the time our traumas happen sometime in history, that’s the nature of trauma; it’s in the past. And we forget that no matter when our trauma happened, we were different then, but we have anchored that trauma in that experience, especially childhood trauma. We were children, we were helpless, we didn’t have a lot of skills. So we believe that trauma to be true today, even though our skills have changed. So I approach them from shame, because when somebody grows up, what they bring about that trauma is shame, ‘why couldn’t I take care of myself, why couldn’t I stop that, I must be a bad person’. If I can release the shame today then I can remind them that they have different skills today than they did back then, and link it differently.
Alan Cook, MA, LPC, LAC

Episode Transcripts