Pride and Shame in Psychotherapy with Relational Trauma and Dissociative Disorders

Pride and shame are affects basic to being human, reflecting our valuation of self, others, and relationship. These affects are vital to understanding and working psychotherapeutically with relational trauma and dissociation.

Benau will define pride and shame, differentiating adaptive and maladaptive subtypes. Requisite concepts, principles and attitudes when working with pride and shame in trauma and dissociation follow.

Krakauer describes how shame is created and perpetuated in dissociative disorders, how the healing of shame is essential to integration, and how her Collective Heart Model, with its utilization of inner guidance, supports the client’s discovery of inherent value and power.

Benau discusses “pro-being pride,” defined as “delighting in being me delighting in you delighting in being you,” and how it manifests clinically in such phenomena as polarities, acceptance, creativity, and humor. Session transcripts from psychotherapy with a relational and sexual trauma survivor flesh out these phenomena.

Krakauer’s case presentation includes a discussion of her “Two-Part Film Technique” (TPF) with a poly-fragmented DID patient, and how it complements the notion of pro-being pride. Her adaptation of Bosnak’s dream work with shame in CSA and alcoholism, and her elaboration of Frankel’s Blending Technique, close our presentation.

This session was originally presented as a live conference session in March 2019.

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:

  • Identify four shame subtypes, that include one adaptive and three maladaptive shame subtypes
  • Identify five pride subtypes, that include two adaptive and three maladaptive pride subtypes
  • Identify at least three concepts, therapist attitudes and/or principles requisite to working psychotherapeutically with shame and pride in complex, relational trauma
  • Describe one way dissociative clients’ attributions of authority maintain and perpetuate shame (in Krakauer’s Collective Heart model)
  • List four ways in which Krakauer‘s Two Part Film technique has been shown to facilitate therapeutic progress
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 6.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 6.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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Presenter: Ken Benau
Presenter Bio: Ken Benau, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in full-time private practice in Kensington, CA (San Francisco Bay Area) where he has provided psychotherapy, consultation, and training for almost 30 years. Dr. Benau offers individual, couple, and family therapy for children, adolescents, and adults. His expertise includes working with complex, relational trauma, as well as learning differences and developmental disorders, including Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Benau has a special interest in working with pride and shame in psychotherapy with survivors of complex, relational trauma, and has published two articles and is preparing a book on this topic.

Presenter: Sarah Krakauer
Presenter Bio: Sarah Y. Krakauer, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Williamsburg, VA, providing psychotherapy and consultation for 27 years. She treats a wide variety of disorders and is especially interested in how distorted perceptions of self arising from childhood trauma and neglect manifest in dissociation, depression, anxiety, body dysphoria, and substance abuse. She developed a treatment model for dissociative disorders, the Collective Heart model, introducing it in a book in 2001 and subsequently elaborating various aspects and applications of the model in journal articles. A manuscript in preparation addresses exploration and healing of profound shame in a dissociative survivor of extensive sexual abuse in childhood and adolescence.

Available Credit

  • 6.00 ISSTD Certificate Program
    This program is eligible for 6.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.


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  • ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation. 
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