I want to share this article because I enjoyed it and also because I think the current debate about sexual harassment is an important one. Serge Prengle is an excellent moderator of discussions and his conversations series is a useful resource for those wishing to learn about body/somatic psychotherapies.
She says; “In cases of abuse the shame that should be with the perpetrator gets transferred to the person who has been abused.” It’s a simple but important thing, a helpful reminder that part of the abuse is this co-creating of shame. This involves or invests the vulnerable party in the creation of a protector for the abuser. It maintains and reinforces the power imbalance.
Then she goes on to say sometimes there is an attempt to return this shame – for the abused person to try to shame the abuser. Which, whilst understandable and perhaps important, rarely helps either party. My question as a therapist is often – what will be helpful?