Shame evolved as a socialising mechanism. At its best it prevents disruptive behaviours, and the inappropriate crossing of boundaries. Sadly, as society has evolved, we have increasingly used shame as a tool of control, manipulation and dominance. Today in therapy rooms, we are confronted by the effects of toxic shame, which has a devastating effect upon a person’s development and life chances.

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    The Nuts and Bolts of Shame

    • Please read prior to beginning the course

    • Part one: Introduction to the talk and the speakers; Juliet and William’s backgrounds and their separate journeys with shame

    • Part two: Toxic shame and shamelessness becoming endemic in our society; words we can connect with shame; physicalising the shame; The Thirteenth Chair by William Ayot

    • Part three: Healthy shame vs toxic shame; developing healthy shame; reinstilling the moral fibre in those who have crossed a boundary; developing a sensitivity to others’ shame; awareness of our own behaviour in healthy shame; empathy for our own shame

    • Part four: Erik Erikson’s 8 stages of psychosocial development; autonomy vs shame & doubt in early childhood; parents building or destroying self-esteem; the freeze in toxic shame; Take her Down by William Ayot; the long lasting effect of shame

    • Part five: Definitions of shame from Gershen Kaufman, Carl Jung, Patricia DeYoung, Marilyn Mason & Merle Fossum, and Brené Brown; shame and identity; shame vs guilt; shame as hiding rather than broadcasting; naming shame

    • Part six: Q&A; can shame stop impacting your life?; ritual and letting go; shame and power; The Stick and the Stone by William Ayot; closing the talk.

  • 2

    Audio of the talk

    • The Nuts and Bolts of Shame audio

  • 3

    The full length video, uncut

    • The Nuts and Bolts of Shame, full length video

  • 4

    The Nuts and Bolts of Shame resources

    • Resources: The poems William shared; links to other Shame talks, workshops, relevant websites and our mailing list; definitions of shame

  • 5

    Feedback and Certificate of Completion

    • Feedback form and certificate



Juliet Grayson and William Ayot

JULIET GRAYSON has worked as a psychotherapist since 1991. She specialises in working with couples and sexual problems. As a psychotherapist she is UKCP registered, NLPtCA accredited, COSRT accredited, and a PBSP accredited Trainer. WILLIAM AYOT is an award-winning poet, author, teacher and ritualist. Over three decades he has hosted and led, men’s and mixed personal development events and rites of passage. He uses poetry and the arts to teach leadership in boardrooms and business schools around the world, currently teaching on the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD. William designs and leads bespoke rituals for individuals. He is available for one-to-one coaching online.

Watch the next episode in Exploring Shame Series 2

  • £10.00

    £10.00 Exploring Shame Series 2, Episode 2: Breaking the Cycle - Treating Shame (75 mins)

    With its baggage of secrecy and judgement, shame is one of the more difficult facets of trauma that need to be unpacked in the therapist’s room. Its complexities and infectious nature can leave therapists feeling unsure and lacking confidence. This presentation provides ways to build bridges, reconnecting clients to themselves, their families and to others.
    Watch here