Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy
Training Programs and Workshops


The Healing Relationship - Psychotherapy of Shame, Confusion and Psychological Withdrawal

Richard Erskine, Ph.D.
National Association of Transactional Analysis of Serbia

3-day workshop : 15th to 17th May 2020
Belgrade, Serbia

Shame, confusion and psychological withdrawal are hallmarks of schizoid process, and this process can be present, yet unrecognised in many, even though very highly functioning clients

The term “schizoid” is often not well understood. It means to cut or split. Work of the schizoid process outgrew of consideration of issues related to both dissociation and shame.

Shame and self-righteousness can be viewed as protective dynamics that help avoid vulnerability to humiliation and the loss of contact-in-relationship with others. The compounded and continual reinforcement of the belief ‘something is wrong with me’ presents the therapist with complex challenges which are specific and unique to the psychotherapy of shame.

Unresolved archaic shame and introjected shame potentiate the pain of any current criticism, adding a toxicity to our clients’ reactions. Juxtaposition of the therapist’s inquiry and attunement, with the client’s memory of a lack of interpersonal contact in previous significant relationships, produces intense responses from the client and possible defensive reaction to the interpersonal contact offered by the therapist with fear, anger, increased worrying and shame.

Working with individuals who use dissociation as an ongoing coping mechanism and also with people for whom shame is a primary way of organizing their emotional experience, we need to emphasize inquiry into the client’s subjective experience in our methods of psychotherapy .Such clients require the psychotherapist’s consistent attunement to their affective state and the therapist’s attunement to their developmental (often pre-language) level of functioning.

Therapeutic focus is not on behavioral change, but on the client’s internal process, validating the client’s subjective experience, to fill the psychological void the schizoid individual experiences internally. What becomes evident in a phenomenologically focused psychotherapy is the sequestered, hidden, encapsulated affect of the client’s self. If therapist is there in a healing, supportive, and clarifying way, that allows integration within the individual’s experience.

At this workshop, we use lecture, case-discussions and live demonstrations to first look at the interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics of shame, confusion and psychological withdrawal. We will examine the relational disruptions as they occur in hystorical situations in one’s today’s intimate relationships. Through demonstrations, we will examine how the healing can occur through respect, contact, authenticity and involvement.

Reservation: WE DO NOT HAVE ANY MORE PLACES LEFT FOR THE WORKSHOP PARTICIPANTS! We kindly ask you if you want to apply for Waiting list you can do that, and we will inform you if someone cancels, so you can take his/her place.
Contact: National Association of Transactional Analysis of Serbia
The workshop is in the process of accreditation for Continual Medical Education and with the Social Workers Chamber of the Republic of Serbia. All attendees will receive a certificate of completion of three-day continuing psychotherapy education/course signed by Professor Erskine.
The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, by the National Board of Certified Counselors for counselors and by the American Board of Examiners in Pastoral Counseling for pastoral counselors. The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.