How to Overcome Feelings of Shame

What do challenges as diverse as addiction, perfectionism, narcissism, and masochism have in common? They’re driven by a family of emotions that share “a painful awareness of self,” otherwise known as shame. This week, Savvy Psychologist Dr. Ellen Hendriksen talks with psychologist Dr. Joseph Burgo about the often-misunderstood experience of shame, and most importantly, how to overcome it.

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD
1-minute read
Episode #219

Shame is one of the scarier emotions. And it has the reputation of a bad boytoxic and destructive. But maybe shame is less of a growling guard dog in a spiked leather collar and more of a yappy chihuahua. Maybe it’s something less sinister, more everyday, and even something that can be systematically overcome.

Enter psychologist Dr. Joseph Burgo, who has been practicing psychotherapy for more than 35 years. His articles and commentary have appeared in such publications as the New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Washington Post and writes the blog Shame for Psychology Today. He is the author of two previous books, Why Do I Do That? and The Narcissist You Know. His newest book is titled Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self Esteem, and you can preorder it now.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How shame is actually a family of emotions and what ties them together.

  • The telltale signs of shame in yourself and others.

  • How to recognize the physical signature of shame.

  • How the answer to reducing shame isn’t building self-esteem as we know it.

  • The most important steps to take to move forward and overcome shame.

For more, pre-order Dr. Burgo’s newest book Shame: Free Yourself, Find Joy, and Build True Self Esteem.

All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ellen Hendriksen, PhD

Dr. Ellen Hendriksen was the host of the Savvy Psychologist podcast from 2014 to 2019. She is a clinical psychologist at Boston University's Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders (CARD). She earned her Ph.D. at UCLA and completed her training at Harvard Medical School. Her scientifically-based, zero-judgment approach is regularly featured in Psychology Today, Scientific American, The Huffington Post, and many other media outlets. Her debut book, HOW TO BE YOURSELF: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety, was published in March 2018.