Regulating the Shame of Parents: Helping Them to Become the Best Team They Can Be



While parents are extremely vulnerable to experiencing shame, they also have a built-in advantage in regulating shame, namely, the advantage of being two. Parents’ greatest resource for shame regulation is their relationship with each other. When parents work well as a team, give each other supportive feedback, and comfort each other after having a painful fight with the child, they provide the nurturance that keeps shame at bay. The capacity to turn the parental relationship into a source of advice, empowerment, and mutual soothing is dependent upon the parents’ capability to regulate each other’s shame. When parents find it difficult to do so and, instead, argue, criticize, and accuse each other, they turn what should have been an advantage into a disadvantage. This chapter presents a therapeutic method aimed at transforming parental fights fueled by shame into constructive and intimate conversations, thus helping parents to become a highly effective shame-regulating team. The model suggests how therapists can monitor the parents’ level of shame and provides ways to help them shift from unregulated to regulated shame states.


Parent training Shame regulation Parenting Couple therapy Family 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Systemic Mirroring Family Therapy InstituteModi’inIsrael

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