Regret is a common and painful experience. This is especially true for our therapy clients. Regret is also a common part of shame. Many clients ruminate endlessly about regrets – things they wish they did but didn’t or things they didn’t do that they wish they had. People who have experienced trauma often express regrets about how they acted during the traumatic event or afterwards.Read more
It’s commonly believed that shame, which involves viewing one’s self as flawed or inferior, leads people to drink as a means of escaping the painful emotion. However, there are few studies that have looked at whether shame directly precedes drinking. In fact, some researchers think that shame may actually inhibit drinking for some people.Read more
In countries, such as the USA, the “Golden Rule” (“treat others how you want to be treated”) is a common maxim. Yet, this rule is seldom accompanied by advice on how people should treat themselves. This may reflect how compassion is typically conceptualized in America—be kind to others, but not necessarily to oneself.Read more
Virtual reality could be a valuable therapeutic tool and already has preliminary evidence for helping people who struggle with social anxiety, eating disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder. In virtual reality, sensors detect a person’s movements; when a person moves their real body, they move an embodied virtual body. From this first-person perspective, people have an immersive experience of inhabiting different bodies and navigating different situations.Read more
Extending compassion to others is undoubtedly important. Especially since America is, arguably, more divided now than ever.
But being able to receive compassion is important, too. In fact, research suggests that it may be a crucial factor in promoting wellbeing.
If we’re unkind to others, we’ll likely receive some immediate feedback – perhaps a disappointed look, scolding, or ostracization. But what is the consequence of avoiding the kindness of others?Read more
Does too much self-compassion make a person lazy and self-indulgent? It seems sensible that self-compassion could help a person feel better, but couldn’t it also lead a person to, say, binge on Netflix and eat ice cream all day?Read more
Certain therapies, such as Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and the work we do at ACT With Compassion, are based upon the idea that shame plays a role in the maintenance of a variety of mental health struggles, including disordered eating. Yet, the evidence-base for how shame and self-compassion affect therapy and remission over time is more limited and sometimes contradictory.Read more
Unfortunately, there often seems to be a wide chasm between what happens in the research lab and what happens on the front lines of clinical work. On the one hand, researchers need to listen to clinicians and learn about their direct experiences with clients. On the other hand, clinicians can benefit from hearing about clinically relevant research. We hope these posts reviewing recent research can help improve your practice with highly shame prone and self-critical clients.Read more
In this month’s post, we’ll turn the spotlight onto a paper that recently came out of our own center. A special thanks to all of the clients who, by choosing to come to our center, support our scientific research, and to all of the participants who donated their time to this project – our research wouldn’t be possible without people like you!Read more
We all know how great if feels when someone expresses appreciation to us. But expressing gratitude isn’t only beneficial for the receiver; it does wonders for the giver, as well. The popular YouTube channel called ‘SoulPancake,’ has a series of videos they call the “The Science of Happiness” and we were struck by one video, in particular that demonstrates the impact that expressing gratitude can have on the person who is giving the appreciation. So if you want a bit of a “pick-me-up”, check out this video.Read more