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Brian O'Neill
April 19th, 2006, 11:42 AM
Robert Lee is here visiting at present and it prompted me to wonder would anyone like to discuss aspects of shame theory and Gestalt therapy?

I could also ask Robert to respond.

Brian

Brian O'Neill
April 27th, 2006, 11:57 PM
The lack of response has prompted me to pose a question which might stimulate discussion. Is there a shame phenomenon at work here in the field of the Gestalt forum?

Some previous writers have suggested that there is a degree of people "talking down" to others... I could view this as a feeling of shame that some people are feeling disconnected... what do others think?

Do these sort of forum and this one in particular, promote feelings of shame or disconnection by talking in jargon or taking an intellectual high ground, and to what extent is this percieved an intended..

Also... what do we mean by the word shame... is that a useful word for people here... does it at times describe your experience...

Brian

Brendan Toohey
May 3rd, 2006, 03:44 AM
I am aware of some degree of reservation in sharing my thoughts on this subject, or others as I find the forum offers a snap shot of a contributors ideas but the ground as to which these ideas may have been formed can be invisable. Which for me has lead to confusion regarding how to contextualise the responses to posts. This does make figure for me though the issue of shame related to, for example, being taught in primary school in a wrote fashion and as a result forming a belief that knowledge (facts) are absolute rather than relative to the conveyer, context,culture, field.

Brendan

Brian O'Neill
May 4th, 2006, 04:23 AM
Hi Brendan

I understand the idea of what we say here coming from and "invisible" background. The very fact that I cannot see people or see/hear their emotions or affect does makes these posts difficult at times.

I imagine it is also easier to project what we think the background might be when someone posts. To project what we THINK people are feeling or not saying.

All this is dis-connective and, as Bob Lee writes on shame, shame is an experience of dis-connection.

I am also interested in what you wrote about primary school... could you say a little more?

Brian

Brendan Toohey
May 12th, 2006, 01:18 AM
Hey Brian,

To expand on the Primary school comment...Let me see, what was I saying? I suppose I can draw a parallel with the ability to hold a 'naive view' bracketing our judgemments so to not cluter our perception. I see my school experience in my formative years, as a process in chasing the 'childlike view' out of you and replacing that with facts and figures that are at the time very difficult to locate as meaningful. Meaningful to the teachers it seemed but not to me in 'my world'. So I guess a low grade shame begins as in what gave me meaning was with authority told to me to be naughty, bad or dis-obediant...what about what was on offer at school was on the whole 'boring' to a fertile mind. So how might I distil this... The process of introjecting what another experiences as meaningful can shame that which is the opposite, if the ability to 'spit out' does not occur.

Am I making meaning...

Brendan

Brian O'Neill
May 12th, 2006, 07:40 AM
Yes that makes sense... the mode of teaching itself can require the child to 'sit up straight and listen' so that wanting to slouch and daydream and play is seen as 'less than'... ie shameful or disconnecting

And having material 'fed' to us does not acknowledge the inner feeding we can do for ourselves and hence shames this inner voice ...

I imagine the alternative type schools such as Steiner are an attempt to undo the negative impact of traditional schooling...

I spent most of my own childhood in hospital with a kidney disease and I reckon that did a lot for me as I had autonomy to be myself and roam around as I pleased pretty much ....and they had little hospital schooling in those days... in fact I don't remember attending any in hospital.

I would be interested to hear if other people see that school can shame and inhibit people in this way and if others were at alternative schools and what that was like?

Brian

D.Biami
October 7th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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alexjoan
February 27th, 2010, 06:08 AM
Gestalt therapy is systematically relational in its underlying theory and methodology. A relational perspective is so central to the theory of gestalt therapy that without it there is no co-herent core of gestalt therapy theory or practice. Recently much has been written about a relational approach to psychotherapy both in the gestalt therapy and the general psychotherapy lit-erature.

Bertrand
May 2nd, 2010, 04:11 AM
OK, here is what I think about "talking down to others".

In most cases, what is taken as "talking down to others" is actually the opposite-- it is actually showing respect.

That's because the 'talker' actually believes that the 'listener' is smart enough to understand all the "intellectual jargon, and big terms".

So it's actually not (usually) insulting at all, but quite the contrary, is a sign of respect.

The other danger is, if a group buys into the "talking in intellectual concepts is abusive" theory, that can actually pull down (and stifle and repress) the level of discussion. Very costly.

Something very valuable gets sacrificed, just to make sure that no one gets 'offended' by intellectual talk.



The lack of response has prompted me to pose a question which might stimulate discussion. Is there a shame phenomenon at work here in the field of the Gestalt forum?

Some previous writers have suggested that there is a degree of people "talking down" to others... I could view this as a feeling of shame that some people are feeling disconnected... what do others think?

Do these sort of forum and this one in particular, promote feelings of shame or disconnection by talking in jargon or taking an intellectual high ground, and to what extent is this percieved an intended..

Also... what do we mean by the word shame... is that a useful word for people here... does it at times describe your experience...

Brian

toddatkins
December 24th, 2010, 09:30 AM
This is an interesting topic, I see it's been a good while since anyone has posted to it. I see a lot of "shame based" people in my private practice. I learned there was healthy shame and toxic shame. The toxic shame was where a person was given the message (directly or implied) that they are: worthless, less than, defective, damaged, bad, wrong, etc. But yes, the result (and perhaps the intention of the 'shamer') of the shame is disconnection, i.e. "I am better/smarter than you". It certainly drives a wedge between people and can indeed set up the dichotomy of better-than and less-than. People sometimes use toxic shame to maintain that "one up" position in a relationship. They also use it to keep people away---to create a protective distance, and to gain a false sense of feeling better about themselves.