In this episode of “Brandler Bits”, learn about shame and guilt, two “cousins” who show up often. You will hear about the differences between the healthy and unhealthy aspects of these two feelings. In addition, you will get to identify strategies in order to feel better.
The Major League Baseball writers decided Wednesday to not accept Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Roger Clemens into its Hall of Fame. They were not accepted into the hall due to the allegations that they used performance enhancing drugs(PEDS). It was a huge statement by the writers to say that ballplayers who take PEDS in order to improve their performance are not Hall of Fame worthy.
This Hall of Fame voting got me to think more intently about this issue. Would I take PEDS to improve my performance– to hear clients better, to become more perceptive, to develop more insights and make changes occur faster? People would get better faster, and would make more long lasting changes. As a result, I could see more people, improve the quality of more client’s lives, and make more money. There is no doubt that this would lead to appearances on talk shows, and calls for keynote addresses at conferences. They would hail me as that famous psychotherapist with that great new therapeutic technique in which people got better, faster.
On the down side, every now and then I would act out in rage and yell at my clients for being stupid. Most of them would know that this was just a therapeutic technique to get them better, and would ignore my behavior. In addition, there would be a little buzz about how an above average therapist turned into a mega superstar in a short period of time. There would be some allegations from a client who saw some pills on my desk—(he came in too early for his session). These would be explained to the questioners as my vitamins that keep up my energy level. I would explain to anyone who asked about my new found success, that it was a result of working hard, and training regularly to become a better therapist. When the state and federal boards would investigate allegations of Performance Enhancement, I would simply deny ever using PEDS. When reporters and other investigators would come around asking questions of my use, I would deny over and over and over again that I had ever used PEDS, period. Due to the embarrassment, the anguish, the sense of failure, the humiliation, my fading reputation,and the public’s loss of faith in therapy, I I would never own up to using PEDS. I would hold that secret forever.
Although Bonds, Sosa, and Clemens did not get into Baseball’s Hall of Fame, but they can be admitted to a far better place. They are important entrants into the Hall of the Shame. This is a place where Bonds, Sosa and Clemens, can feel the remorse, guilt, shame, embarrassment and self loathing about their behavior. It’s a place where smug, arrogant and self-centered people hang out because they’re better, smarter, more manipulative, and more creative than the rest of the world. In fact, The Hall is a place where many of my clients had taken up residence until they realized that they could get out. They recognized that by admitting what had happened, it gave them the freedom to begin to make change. They were no longer bound by the code of secrecy. They could make life style changes, become honest, and have integrity. They could change many of their behaviors and work on having a path of doing good and right deeds. They left their Hall of Shame plaque behind and moved onto living a healthier life. The Hall of Shame is not a place that many people want entrance to, however it’s a place where addictions, infidelity, mental illness, physical and sexual abuse take you to. The best part, is that unlike the Hotel California, you can check out and leave it all behind.