The Treatment of Shame with Alcoholic Clients
This chapter discusses a list of the various ways that shame may be connected with alcoholism and addiction. It provides guidelines for the treatment of shame concerns alcoholic or addicted clients. One critical area to investigate, then, is how clients might have utilized alcohol or drugs to increase social acceptability. A significant aspect of therapy, however, is helping clients identify which of their main identities and roles have been damaged through their addictive behavior. Therapists who help clients become aware of how, when, and why they utilize their defenses are also helping them realize they could function in another manner. Clients may need help in noticing that they became intoxicated at least partially to mitigate their shame. Clients will certainly be tempted to continue drinking or drug use because they have become an effective barrier against shame. Clients who disclose their shame to therapists will need to receive support, comfort, and encouragement as they encounter their shame.