Date of Award
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Shame, Shame-of-existing, Parental misattunement, Intersubjectivity
Shame is at the root of many commonly encountered psychopathologies. Its development has often been attributed to early childhood emotional misattunement. In severe cases, individuals can develop an extreme form of shame called the “shame-of-existing”. This paper primarily intends to contribute to the limited research about the shame-of-existing, which includes psychoanalytic perspectives from 1950-1990s, and theoretical analysis in 2014. The concept of shame of existence will be explored through an in-depth case study analysis of a 31-year-old, heterosexual, cisgender, white male who presented to psychotherapy with low-self-worth, and shame in acknowledging his own emotions and needs. This client was treated using an intersubjective systems framework, given its focus on misattunement in the parent-child relationship and the reparative power of validating attunements within the therapeutic relationship. Further, this paper will explore how to address and treat shame-of-existing utilizing an intersubjective approach.
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Received from author
Ginsburg, Tal, "Parental Misattunement and the Production of Shame of Existing: How to Address the Shame of Existing Through an Intersubjective Systems Approach" (2023). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 505.