Shame and Resilience

Director of Embrace Dr. Karin Lawson initiates a discussion of shame and resilience, how this work has inspired a group within our Embrace programming, and shares an inspirational song serving as a reminder that we are all “human among humans.”


I have been a fan of BrenĂ© Brown, long before she became an Oprah staple. The fact that she has spoken, written, and TedTalked so openly and academically on the theme of shame drew me in the first time I heard her. She is focused on a significant theme that represents the idea of  keeping things securely hidden in the darkness where they fester and grow and eat us alive. By “things,” I am referring to our secrets, including experiences, choices, and/or victimization that we feel cannot bear the light of day. How amazing would it be to tackle the shame that often paralyzes us?

My passion for shame work (and subsequently self-compassion work) was the torch that burned and created space for us to offer a Shame Resilience group in Embrace. It is one of the most cherished groups of our clients and my favorite group to facilitate. One of the basic premises is that we are all going to experience shame; just like sadness, anxiety, and happiness. It is part of our experience. Yet the question is, how do we bounce back from such an intense emotion that makes us want to do nothing but crawl under a blanket? We do the opposite. (Hello DBT!) We share our experience of shame with a trusted person, so that we practice not hiding out, but letting others support us and shining a light on our human experience. This allows us to hear and know and feel that shame hits us ALL at some point … no matter how put together a person might appear. Dr. Wendy Oliver-Pyatt often shares this Kohut quote which captures it nicely; being “human among humans.”

So instead of hiding out in shame and tucking away the things we assume need to be kept secret, I would like to share some inspiration with you in the form of a music video that our co-founder Vicki Kroviak shared with me this week. It features Mary Lambert singing “Secrets.”

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