Stained? Mental Health Services, Spaces and Shame

June 6, 2017 / Lavender L.  / 
spill, stain

Dear Outpatient Clinic,

I won’t be coming to my next appointment; please transfer my medical records to the address below. Judith Lewis Herman, who first characterized complex PTSD, calls it a “shame disorder” [1]. The inability to act when the self is at stake causes a person to doubt, even to loathe, herself. Trauma is shame; complex trauma is shame that lasts long enough that there is very little ‘self’ left by the end. Trauma is one type of loss of self. Depression, anxiety, and many others – often in tandem – also chip away at the self-worth of your clients.

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