Rom J Psychoanal 2020, 13(1):85-116
DOI: 10.2478/rjp-2020-0008

Abstract: The hiding aspect of shame makes the study of shame difficult. In this article we aim to show through Hanna’s case study how shame manifests and develops during the course of one psychotherapy process. This will be done using Assimilation analysis (APES) and Dialogical Sequence Analysis (DSA) to show in detail one idiosyncratic developmental path through which the relationship toward the problematic shame experience changes and develops in psychotherapy. Results show how the manifestation of shame toward the problematic experience of being seen was present in the first moments of the first meeting, but also how during the sequence of sessions 7 – 9 Hanna’s relationship toward shame evoked referent unveils and developed gradually through therapeutic work from assimilation stage 2 to reaching stage 5-6 at the end of the 9th hour. This study shows how Hanna was able to reach a new kind of active agency toward the shame that, in the beginning, held the agency in her ’community of voices’, and how this understanding of shame’s developing and hiding nature can be of use in a clinically meaningful way.


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