WEEK 120: How to Uncover the Emotions Underneath Blame

September 17 – September 22, 2018

September 17 – September 22, 2018 . . . . .

WEEK 120

September 17 – September 22, 2018


Monday, September 17, 2018

Working with Blame After Trauma

Bessel van der Kolk, MD explores how trauma fosters a tendency to blame . . . and a healthier way to cope with post-traumatic emotion.
Running time: 09:36

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How to Disrupt the Pattern of Black and White Thinking

Lynn Lyons, LICSW shares one way to help clients distinguish between responsibility and intent.
Running time: 06:26

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

How to Work with Blame that’s Rooted in Underlying Emotions

Chris Germer, PhD and Ron Siegel, PsyD give two approaches for uncovering the feelings that often influence a blame mentality.
Running time: 09:23

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Thursday, September 20, 2018

An Exercise to Help Clients Become Aware of the Vulnerabilities Beneath Blame

Ellyn Bader, PhD shares a technique to help clients develop better coping mechanisms for managing vulnerable feelings.
Running time: 08:36

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Friday, September 21, 2018

Critical Insights

Ron Siegel, PsyD and Kelly McGonigal, PhD highlight the key concepts in this week’s videos.
Running time: 26:19

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Reference: The varieties of contemplative experience
Reference: Unwanted effects: Is there a negative side of meditation?


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Focus on Application

Joan Borysenko, PhD, and Rick Hanson, PhD connect exercises and techniques with this week’s discussion so you can begin using these ideas right away with your clients.
Running time: 21:59

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Leave a Comment

17 Responses

  1. i really like Lynn Lyon’s piece on responsibility and intent. I agree with one of the other commentators. Very real world. Very funny. I plan on using it with a clients mom who keeps on assigning the blame on her ex-partner for not stepping up. I also am always so appreciative of Kelly McGonical’s insights and I love that she shares the sources.

  2. Bessel van der Kolk reminded me to help a client tune into herself through simple grounding exercises and then progress to recognition of somatic symptoms. Ultimately, this teenage client was then able to invite her Dad into session and speak to him for the first time in six (not a typo) years! This is a nuclear family and Dad and daughter live under the same roof – so you can just try to imagine the anguish of the family at large, never mind the extent of the child’s pain that led to this silence, and now her strength at breaking it. Thank you all for both theoretical and practical insight!

  3. A very interesting presentation about the side effects of mediation.
    I have been meditating for over 40 years and had never heard anyone talking about most of the side effects mentioned.
    I am familiar with the seminal work by Dr H. Benson who coined the term Relaxation Response. Dr. B. was able to de – mystify the process with the use of nonsense words vs Mantra.
    The people i have been familiar with on the topic have been spiritual seekers and may have easily tolerated some side effects for the greater goal of spiritual growth and are also in a the company of others which provides guidance ad support. Meditation is not to be taken lightly as it is a process to let go of attachments and expand a deep sense of caring and experience of deep areas of the mind and beyond.
    As a therapist i have only encouraged it being used as a stress management tool to less than 5 people over the past 28 yrs. (meditate 1/day)and ruled out anybody who is troubled with psychosis or severe cognitive conflicts.
    I like the use of Mindfulness, Deep Breathing to help clients develop a sense of Centerdness and calm control to better deal with their issues.
    Over the last decade I have slowly left much of my Yoga Practices behind in favor of the Christian meditation called Centering Prayer. It has the power of regular meditation but also due to it rich history in Western Culture is a better fit – generally. It clearly integrates our different aspects of western psychology.
    Am looking forward to reviewing the research from Dr. Kelly.

  4. Lynn’s video was not only practical and useful, it was entertaining as well !! The ability to clinically finesse in an interchange with a defensive client (or parent) is a significantly important clinical skill and I appreciated her presentation very much – real world! The attitude of responsibility vs intent (i.e. fault) is an excellent way to walk toward a prickly issue in a therapeutic setting.

  5. This was all quite helpful, especially regarding assuring meditation needs to be timely.
    This last week I had a crisis with a meditating client, doing quite well with meditation.
    Unfortunately she had a major trauma midtreatment. I am having her do more physical techniques and add CBT tools to calm down her body as she still in physical recover.

    Not sure how long to encourage her to go back to meditation, but will spend more time when appropriate to have her decide when she is ready to resume meditation. This felt so foreign but it was timely given my work with this tragedy.

    What has been upsetting personally to me, is my whole body has started shaking. I have had to restrict my work. My reactions have a lot to do with anger and blaming.

    This is why this webinar was timely as I find myself doing the blaming even though justified. It serves no purpose, wasted energy and repressing keeps me stuck. Deep breathing has helped somewhat.

    If anyone has a cure for these temperature and tingling skin reactions, let me know. In a prior role as a triage supervisor on crisis lines I used to tell the client to put a blanket in a dryer and wrap up in it, but what if one is not home? I need to know how to divert should this resurface when out in the community.

  6. Hello, a client just left my office and I had hoped to help her let go of her stance of blaming others but I had to step back as she became defensive and started to cry. Lynn Lyons provided me with a better understanding of how to help this person as she did not intend to create the situation she is currently struggling with and once she accepts some responsibility she will be able to look/feel /think differently about her ability to make positive changes. Thanks again, Sue

  7. Ellen B’s exercise offers an excellent non-threatening path to self examination. She models disclosure and honesty, she neutralizes blame by placing the behavior as a common reaction among all people. She invites a choice to more effective actions and gives space to both clients to move in that direction.
    I wonder how my client will engage in this reflective process. When people are angry, moving to a calm place creates greater vulnerability.

  8. Thank you to both Chris and Ron for connecting righteous indignation with the underlying feelings, whether those be hurt, guilt, shame. I have a couple and the woman becomes mired in her righteous indignation, and the man sits passively awash in shame. I will acknowledge the hurt, again, and hopefully begin moving her to a new stance.

  9. This is a great refresher and learning experience for me.
    It became somehow (erroneously or not ) apparent to me some time ago that clients were not ready to look at their hurt without acting extremely and consequently I have shied away from seeking out the root causes of the underlying pain. this strategy is actually a function of their ego strength and may have to be gently tested before seeking out the root issues., but not avoided altogether.

  10. I found Ron and Kelly’s conversation and analysis to be one of the best of recent times. I, too, struggle with people who want to make others be different. I find weather analogies to be helpful – I didn’t cause the blizzard, but if I want to drive my car, I have to be the one to shovel the driveway. It is always a challenge to get dependent women with their “shoulds” of how husbands behave to understand where the boundaries are of what they can expect and when to leave it. Meeting our own needs is sometimes exhausting in these types of relationships. I often have them try it for a time until they see how powerful they have become and then make a choice as the value added of the relationship at that time.

  11. I really liked Chris Germer’s ideas on how we can do for ourselves what we desperately seek from others. I think reminding people the value of validating their own hurt can leave them less dependent on seeking that validation form others. I will be using that with a client who not only blames but avoids conversations for fear of being blamed. I can see Chris’ suggestions will help my client feel less threatened and help him approach the pain in a new, kinder way, rather than feeling stuck and angry. Very helpful insight this week from all the speakers thus far. Great topic

    1. Hi Irene, I just wanted to let you know that those articles are posted under the Critical Insights video on this week.

      They are labeled like this:

      Reference: The varieties of contemplative experience
      Reference: Unwanted effects: Is there a negative side of meditation?

      Hope this helps!