Attachment research has indicated the connection between “ invisible” attachment trauma and the development of dissociative symptomatology. Bowlby ( 1969) suggested that the child’s experiences with the caregiver’s availability, result in thedevelopment of “working models” of self and others .According to Liotti ( 2009) dissociation is a “Failure in organizing multiple and incongruent models of the self and other into unitary mental states …”. The Internal Working Model e.g. “ I am unlovable”, “ There is something wrong with me” , interferes with the child’s ability to relate, threatens the child’s survival and hinders the growth of a coherent sense of self.
Recent research has shown that the quality of the attachment relationship could underlie the establishment of shame traumatic memories. “Shame then is evoked when the positive view of self is threatened” (De Hooge et al., 2010)and “typically calls forth dissociative processes to preserve selfhood” (Bromberg, 1998). Shame is relational and dis-integrating .The resulting dissociation can be interpreted as a detachment from the child’s sense of self. Major focus of my work is on building corrective interpersonal experiences through right- brain therapy. Enhancing the mentalizing capability and the restoration of self- confidence is essential. Forging new neural pathways through the development of self- compassion strategies and the implementation of bottom-up approaches.
In my contribution the focus is on bringing into awareness the dissociative shame part and healing it in order to achieve a coherent self.
Define the different causes underlying the development of shame
Define the variety of aspects of shame
Recognize the interplay between dissociation and shame and to identify shame in their clinical practices
List a variety of modalities in the treatment of shame in children
Employ the learned theory and practice into their clinical work