Shame in couple therapy: Helping to heal the intimacy bond


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

This chapter describes how couple relationships are one of the major interpersonal contexts in which individuals experience shame. It addresses how partners’ communication quality, level of mutual trust, and intimacy, as well as aspects of each person’s history, cognitive style, and affect regulation, play major roles not only in the likelihood of experiencing shame but also in the degree to which shame can be resolved. We emphasize the importance of understanding shame experiences in relationships and intervening with couple dynamics to reduce negative impacts of shame. The chapter provides guidelines for assessing and treating shame in the couple context. Our cognitive–behavioral concepts and methods should be applicable for couple therapists with a variety of theoretical orientations.

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