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New Ideas on the Origins of Shame in Stuttering Cindy S. Spillers, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Duluth

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Presentation on theme: "New Ideas on the Origins of Shame in Stuttering Cindy S. Spillers, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Duluth"— Presentation transcript:

1 New Ideas on the Origins of Shame in Stuttering Cindy S. Spillers, Ph.D. University of Minnesota Duluth MSHA 2014 April 11-12, 2004 Rochester, MN

2 Dedicated to the Memory of Beth Marolt Bryson d. Oct 31, 2013 MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)2

3 Introduction MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)3 The Kings Speech

4 Recognition of Shame as Part of Advanced Stuttering Bloodstein, 2007; Guitar 2006; Sheehan, Cortese & Hadley, 1962; Starkweather, 2001; Van Riper, 1982 One of a constellation of emotions Often overlooked, unacknowledged, and rarely ever talked about. MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)4

5 Complex and hidden Web of conflicting & confusing emotions Visceral response Why? MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)5

6 Premise and Purpose Shame drives the fear bus Coincidental timing of 3 developmental processes New shame theory – shame as a social emotion These ideas help to explain why: Stuttering cuts to the soul Powerlessness over stuttering Reclaiming power requires addressing shame MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)6

7 Fulcrum on which my theory balances: Fear of loss of control develops early and causes shame (Judith, 2006) Shame = fear of loss of connection and unworthiness (Brown, 2007; Scheff, 2000) Loss of control is really about loss of connection and abandonment (Silverman, 2013) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)7

8 Purpose Introduce new information on shame theory Review what we already know about Early psychosocial development Early speech & language development Early stuttering development Tie it all together and put a bow on it MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)8

9 Understanding Shame Defining Shame Personal Definitions Websters Unabridged (1983) Disturbed or painful feeling of guilt, incompetence, indecency, or blameworthiness. Bradshaw (1988) Painful feeling about myself as a person. MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)9

10 Social Definitions Scheff (2000) I nominate shame as the premiere social emotion. Brown (2007; 2010; 2012) The intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance & belonging. Fear of loss of connection – causes us to hide something about ourselves from others MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)10

11 The Social Nature of Human Beings We are hardwired for connection (Brown, 2007; Hanson, 2009; Scheff, 2000) Neural circuits thick with synapses Threat to social connectivity sends strong signals through brain and body Fight-flight-freeze MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)11

12 Abraham Maslows Needs Hierarchy (1943) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)12

13 3 Social/Cultural dimensions of shame Power (Brown, 2007; Judith, 2004) Cultural definitions – holding sway over other people Dualities of strong vs. weak Internal battles of good vs. bad; greater angels vs. lesser angels Original definition– ability to act, make changes, transform Inner strength Fighting against ourselves leaves little energy for making changes MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)13

14 Worthiness (Brown, 2007; 2010; 2012; 2013) Definition – quality of value, merit, esteem, or virtue A quality of the soul Worthiness and Love & belonging When we feel worthy of love & belonging we tend to Have courage to be imperfect Have compassion for ourselves and others Are more authentic MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)14

15 The Skin Horse on Being Real What is REAL? asked the Rabbit… Real isnt how you are made…Its a thing that happens to you. Does it hurt? asked the Rabbit. Sometimes….When you are Real you dont mind being hurt….It takes a long time. Thats why it doesnt often happen to people who break easily or…who have to be carefully kept. …Once you are Real you cant become unreal again. It lasts for always. (Williams, 1922) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)15

16 Vulnerability (Brown, 2007; 2010) Definition – Capable of being wounded; open to attack. Seat of shame, fear, & worthlessness AND love, belonging, & joy Opening self to wounding and attack requires courage, not weakness Vulnerability and power MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)16

17 The Grocery Store Incident - Alan Rabinowitz MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)17

18 Universality of Shame (Brown, 2007; Bradshaw, 1988; Judith, 2004; Scheff, 2000) Everyone experiences shame except sociopaths Every encounter we have contains the potential for rejection Rarely identified, acknowledged, or talked about MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)18

19 Shame needs 3 conditions MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)19 Judgment SecrecySilence

20 The Individuals Experience of Shame Physiological & Physical Fight-flight-freeze Posture MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)20 Sibling humiliation – Kings SpeechClassroom humiliation- Voice in Exile

21 Emotional – swampland of the soul (Scheff, 2000) Multiple emotions – embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, shyness, failure, rejection, blame, anger Easy to name these emotions; not easy to recognize the shame underneath MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)21

22 Mental/Cognitive Mental fog; confusion Frontal lobe shuts down with 3F response (Hanson, 2009) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)22 Cafeteria scene – Voice in Exile

23 Spiritual Spirituality = Finding meaning in our lives through relationships with self, others, and higher power of some kind (Frankl, 1959/2006) Inextricably connected to one another by a force greater than ourselves (Brown, 2012) Wholeness and completeness Shame ruptures all 3 relationships MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)23

24 Psycho-social development and shame Stage 2 Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt (Erikson, 1963) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)24

25 18 mo. – 4 yrs. Physical & cognitive development Voluntary muscle control Cognitive thought and development of language Speech & language form connection between thought and action (Erikson, 1963; Judith, 2004) Beginnings of the will and willful action (vs. reflexive) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)25

26 Potty Training 2 energetic principles We experience shame if we cannot adequately control what comes out of us. (Judith, 2004, p. 206) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)26 Holding on Letting go

27 Summary Shame is a social emotion Fear of loss of connectionloss of love, rejection, abandonment feeling unworthy of love and connection Universal Causes hiding Capacity for shame develops early in life (18 mo – 4 yrs) We experience shame if we cannot adequately control what comes out of us MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)27

28 MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)28 The Pencil Incident - Rabinowitz

29 Shame as a Driving Force in Stuttering Development Review of What Know and Dont Know Shame is recognized as part of advanced stuttering Bloodstein – Phases 3 & 4; Guitar -- Intermediate Fear gets top billing among emotions No writings on when, how, or why shame gets attached to stuttering MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)29

30 Why so much fear? Why is it so bad when _____ ? Because the other person might reject me. Fear of rejection & feeling unworthy MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)30

31 My Thought: Shame is premiere emotion of stuttering Loss of control separates SLDs from NDs When we cant control what comes out of us, we feel shame Shame tied to early experiences of loss of control MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)31 Onset of Stuttering Autonomy & self control

32 Stuttering, Shame, & Fear of Loss of Control Primal fear MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)32 Loss of control Loss of connection (shame) Death

33 Ellen- Marie Silverman (2013, p. 5) …When we are 3 or 4 years old…with limited experience and an immature cognitive system, we may first experience the primal fear that arises from believing we may perish if we stutter. We may, quite literally, fear stuttering may kill us…. The loss of control of our bodies that we experience as we stutter could lead to death on the spot. MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)33

34 Primal fear overlooked by adults and by PWS when they become adults This primal fear may be the largest contributing factor to stuttering in adulthood (Silverman, 2013). MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)34 Broken stuttering boy

35 Shames relationship to other fears associated with stuttering (Corcoran & Stewart, 1998; Sheehan, et al., 1962; Starkweather, 2001) Fear is most common manifestation of shame Cycle back to primal fear Addressing fears may not be enough to help replace the primal fear MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)35

36 Shames Relationship with Other Emotions and Secondary Behaviors High correlation between shame and anger, depression, and others (Brown, 2007). Embarrassment, humiliation, helplessness (Corcoran & Stewart, 1998) Self-esteem (Daniels & Gabel, 2004;Ginsberg, 2000) MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)36

37 Secondary behaviors Silverman (2013) loss of control MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)37 Loss of control Primal fear (shame) Struggle & avoidance

38 Conclusion Shame is the central emotion in stuttering Very young children can and do experience shame Loss of control in stuttering leads to primal fear of abandonment(social definition of shame) and death Primal fear (shame) imprinted deep in psyche and leads to a cascade of emotions and secondary behaviors It is a very big deal for children & adults who stutter MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)38

39 What to do about it????? Stay tuned for Part 2 in 2015 MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)39

40 References Adele, D. (2009). The yamas and niyamas. Duluth, MN: On-Word Bound Books. Bloodstein, O. & Ratner, A.B. (2007). A handbook on stuttering (6 th ed.). Dependence, KY: Cengage Learning. Bradshaw, J. (1988). Healing the shame that binds you. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications. Brown. B. (2007). I thought it was just me. NY: Gotham Books. Brown, B. (2010). The power of vulnerability. TED Talk available online at Brown, B.(2012). Listening to shame. TED Talk available online at Brown, B. (2013). The courage to be vulnerable. Interview with Tami Simon, Sounds True Radio MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)40

41 References Corcoran, J.A. & Stewart, M. (1998). Stories of stuttering: A qualitative analysis of interview narratives. J. Fluency Dis. 23, pp Daniels, D. & Gabel, R.M. (2004). The impact of stuttering on identity construction. Topics in Language Disorders 24 (3), pp Erikson, E.H. (1963). Childhood & society (2 nd ed.). NY: W.W. Norton & Co. Frankl, V. (1959/2006). Mans search for meaning. Boston: Beacon Press. Ginsberg, A.P. (2000). Shame, self-consciousness, and locus of control in people who stutter. J. Of Genetic Psychology 161(4), pp Guitar, B. (2006). Stuttering: An integrated approach to its nature & treatment (3 rd ed.). Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins. MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)41

42 References Hanson, R. (2009). Buddhas brain. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Press. Hooper, T. (2012). The Kings speech. The Westin Co. Judith, A. (2004). Eastern body, Western mind. Berkley, CA: Ten Speed Press. Kaplan, M.A. (1985). Voice in Exile. Pacific Grove, CA: Original Gravity Media. Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review 50(4), pp Rabinowitz, A. (2010). Stuttering & the big cats. Nashville, TN: SFA DVD #6600. Scheff, T. J. (2000). Shame and the social bond: A sociological theory. Sociological Theory 18(1), pp MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)42

43 References Sheehan, J.G., Cortese, P.A., & Hadley, R.G. (1962). Guilt, shame, and tension in graphic projections of stutteirng. JSHD 27(2), pp ). Silverman, E-M (2013). Relief from stuttering. N. Charleston, SC: Create Space. Spillers, C.S. (2011). Spiritual dimensions of the clinical relationship. In Fourie, R.J. (ed.) Therapeutic processes for communication disorders (pp ). London: Psychology Press. Starkweather, C.W. (2001). Below the surface: Treating the emotional aspects of stuttering. ISAD Online Conference, October, Avaliable at Van Riper, C. (1982). The nature of stuttering (2 nd ed.). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Webster, N. (1983). New universal unabridged dictionary (2 nd ed.). NY: Simon & Schuster. Williams, M. (1922). The velveteen rabbit. NY: Double Day & Co. MSHA 2014Stuttering & Shame (Spillers)43

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