Blame, Shame, Emotional Dysregulation and Self-Harm

Bower Knowledge

Adolescent self-harm is often conceptualised as related to difficulty regulating emotion and a behaviour that elicits guilt, shame and blame in the young person and their family. While the negative impact of blame and shame in families is well understood, Sarah Amoss and colleagues (2016) suggests that the task of the therapist is to ‘create conditions that feel safe enough to bring these stories into dialogue and, through dialogue, open up different narrative and emotional possibilities.’ While aware of the negative effects of these emotions, she suggests that ‘their generative aspects tend to be overlooked.’

She conceptualizes both blame and shame as ‘a signal that something is wrong and requires consideration; a call for help rather than an end in itself’ and hence stages towards transformative actions and a different response to difficult emotions. Rather than avoiding blame and shame and replicating the silence that occurs in families, this approach allows for an active and productive response to painful emotions and frightening actions.

Amoss,S., Lynch, M and Bratley, M. (2016)  Bringing forth stories of blame and shame in dialogues with families affected by adolescent self-harm Journal of Family Therapy 38: 189–205

Upcoming workshop – Emotional Dysregulation

“A neuro-political approach to therapy with emotionally & behaviourally dysregulated children, adolescents & families”

A one-day workshop, combining clinical expertise, knowledge and training within the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic. An opportunity to explore research drawing on live clinical practice.

21st June 2019 – 9.30am to 5pm.

Cost $190 for full day training with Senior Practitioners in the field and Bower Place Directors Catherine Sanders and Malcolm Robinson

For bookings (08) 8221 6066 or info@bowerplace.com.au (places are limited)

Bower Clinic

Appointments are available

  • Monday 10am-5pm
  • Tuesday 10am-7.30pm
  • Wednesday 10am-7.30pm
  • Thursday 10am-5pm
  • Friday 10am- 5pm

Fees & Charges

We are able to provide a Bulk Billing service by a psychologist and Medicare accredited Mental Health Social Workers for clients who hold a Mental Health Care Plan from their GP.

We also work with clients covered by NDIS support plans.

Clients who are not covered by either a Mental Health Care Plan or the NDIS are able to access services within the Complex Needs Clinic at a low fee rate of $60 per 90 minute session.

Bower Training

Bower Place has a wide range of qualifications & other training opportunities available including:

  • Graduate Diploma in Family Therapy & Systematic Practice
  • Clinical Supervision
  • Clinical Placements
  • Short Course Specialisation – Introduction to Family Therapy
  • Workshops – Bower Place senior practitioners & national & international guest presenters
  • Knowledge & Training Membership Portal – Bower Systemic

Opportunities to:

  • Work directly with clients in the Bower Place Complex Needs Clinic
  • Partner with senior practitioners in a dynamic learning environment
  • Explore diverse blended knowledge & training methodology
  • Undertake practical weekly or block intensive placement
  • Study online knowledge and theoretical assessments