Rethinking the Role of Shame
Clinical diagnoses and negative social expectations can hinder a client’s treatment progress by leading them to fall short of their true potential for recovery. Yet nearly every manifestation of a disorder is unique with its own symptoms, strengths and weaknesses. Clinicians do their best at identifying conditions, causes and remedies, but the reality is that addiction treatment as a profession is an ongoing state of refinement, and labels are approximations at best. Our discussion will incorporate and expand on different cognitive biases such as Expectancy Effect and Stereotype Threat that exacerbate the feelings of shame in the recovery setting. We will discuss how to differentiate and identify the shameful labels used within the field and how they stop individuals from seeking help. In addition, we will talk about helping clients rise above the shame of negative labels.