In the 50’s, the prevailing belief concerning crying infants was that, if you picked them up whenever they cried, you’d be spoiling them, teaching them to complain in order to get their needs met. The results? Adults all too often incapable of soothing themselves without chemical dependency or distraction. Adults resistant to asking for help, or trusting others. Perpetuating the shame cycle.
More often, though, the shaming is more subtle, lending the client the sense that she has failed. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and its unfortunate child, Positive Psychology, are such culprits. They give us the impression that we can just think our way to happiness and health, and conversely, that if despite our best efforts we remain in distress, we just weren’t working hard enough to restructure our thoughts.
Be easy on yourself. Unhook from psychological perfectionism, that hopeless attempt to squeeze your unique self into the latest version of mental health.