Pride vs Shame: tension needed for growth

Affect Regulation Theory: A Clinical Model (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology)
A recent article argues that we thrive in a natural tension between things and don’t do so well when we fall into a more simplified but ossified state. Think of Tronick’s messy interactions, in which the ongoing tension of break and repair is what builds a sense of self and resilience, but when one person is doing too much of the work (a parent trying to reach a child with challenges, or a child trying to reach to a depressed parent) things do not turn out so well. The latter are simpler but not healthier states.

I wish I could recall who recently recommended the latest Norton Neuroscience book. It is superb. Dan Hill’s Affect Regulation Theory: A Clinical Model (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) speaks to this important natural tension. Allan Schore did the forward. Don’t be fooled: while Schore and Hill hint the that the first part of the book is a review of Schore’s brilliant affect regulation books of the past, it is far more up to date and offers an elegant model of the central and natural tension between shame and pride that impacts the formation of attachment patterns early on through adulthood and does so in the context of dyadic work that me and my colleagues are accustomed to. I underlined a lot of pearls.

The discussions are an enlightening explication of attachment styles and personality, including different kinds of narcissism and borderline styles, and as such is very helpful in supporting good approaches to managing and helping people we work with every day. I was waiting to see if he deals with the individual differences that we see in SPD and ASD. He hinted he would. Even though he doesn’t this book provides a model for predicting the impact of such difficulties on the character style of the developing child. Very useful.

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