Group Discussion Guide: Counseling Against Shame

Lesson 9 — Transformed by Renewed Minds

  1. Joy is a powerful antidote to shame, but a joyful life requires a “renewed mind” no longer conformed to the world’s patterns of thinking (Romans 12:2). As Curt reminds us, this “renewed mind” stuff is not religious sentimentality; it’s meant to be taken literally on a neural-biological level.  

    • How can we help our patients to live the kind of lives that are “attuned to the delight and joy of the Holy Spirit and God the Father and Jesus”? How can we begin to live this kind of joyful life ourselves?  

  2. Curt uses 1 Corinthians 12 as a model of a community in which multiple people are willing to do the work of scorning shame together. This, among a great many other things, is what the Body of Christ is for.  

    • Curt names various techniques that are effective in combatting shame, including Emotion Focused Therapy and Internal Family Systems Therapy. How can you use your own technical expertise to help individuals or families name their shame and then scorn it?  

    • Take a moment to consider your own professional context. How can you apply Curt’s teaching on the origins, intentions, and effects of shame?