Shame, Pride and Dissociation: Estranged Bedfellows, Close Cousins and Some Implications for Psychotherapy with Relational Trauma Part II: Psychotherapeutic Applications

Ken Benau


In Part 1 of this two-part article, I explored the phenomenology of pride and shame, on the one hand, and dissociation, on the other, in survivors of relational trauma. Specifically, I discussed the direction and quality of attention in self and other, and the mind/body's organization in pride, shame, and dissociation. While in Part 1 I offer some treatment applications, in this, Part 2, I extend my observations to consider further psychotherapeutic implications with survivors of relational trauma. Specifically, I discuss the therapeutic implications of directionality, focus of attention, quality of gazing, and connecting or coalescing versus disconnecting or breaking apart. Clinical and personal vignettes are sprinkled throughout this paper, with both specific and more generalized understandings and applications clarified.


Shame; Pride; Dissociation; Structural Dissociation; Phenomenology; Trauma; Relational Trauma; Attention, Gazing; Self States; Psychotherapy.

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