Welcome to Our Blog!!

This blog is a hate-free place, dedicated to the spreading of awareness and understanding of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Community, their shame experiences and their potential to be resilient. Our goal is to increase your empathy and compassion.

We do not claim to be experts on this topic, however, we recognize the importance of sharing what we can in the hope that at least one person feels compelled to re-evaluate their thoughts, feelings and perceptions.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Shame, Empathy, and Resilience

"Shame is something we all experience. And, while it feels like shame hides in our darkest corners, it actually tends to lurk in all of the familiar places, including appearance and body image, motherhood, family, parenting, money and work, mental and physical health, addication, sex, aging, and religion."
-- Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW

Dr. Brown, our educator and renowned shame researcher, defines shame as "the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging."

After a decade of researching shame in the lives of many men and women across the United States, she developed a grounded theory known as the Shame Resilience Model.

Watch the video below to learn more about this concept of shame and the Shame Resilience Model. What better way to learn than from the researcher herself?

Through reading the postings on this blog, our hope is to highlight each of the elements of the Shame Resilience Model with regard to the shame experiences within the GLBT Community. The elements are as follows:

1) recognizing shame and triggers,
2) practicing critical awareness,
3) reaching out, and
4) speaking shame.

The goal is to build empathy and compassion for the GLBT Community.
Dr. Brown cites Teresa Wiseman, a nursing scholar in England, who identifies four defining attributes of empathy, which are:
1) to be able to see the world as others see it
2) to be non-judgmental
3) to understand another person's feelings
4) to communicate your understanding of that person's feelings.

Dr. Brown cites Pema Chodron, who describes the concept of compassion in her book The Places That Scare You by writing, "When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience the fear of our pain. Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to going this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistence."

We hope that through reading these posts, our fellow social work students can understand the shame experiences in the GLBT Community, examplify empathy and compassion, and learn how they can implement the Shame Resilience Model in their practice.

Details about The Shame Resilience Model can be found in Dr. Brown's book, I Thought It Was Just Me (but it isn't): Telling the Truth About Perfectionism, Inadequacy, and Power. However, the diagram depicting the model is featured below.

Read this document on Scribd: Shame Resiliency Model