Editorial Note

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This issue of the Journal offers additional insights and directions for those interested in the study and treatment of trauma. The lead research article in this issue focuses on the critically important clinical problem of internalized shame. The authors, Dennis Balcom, Elizabeth Call, and Deborah N. Pearlman (2000) point out that the role of shame remains an intractable treatment problem, even though it has been studied for more than twenty years. The shamed are typically prone to misreading social and interpersonal communications. They view the world from the perspective of someone who is terribly flawed. Because the traumatized are most often burdened by some aspect of internalized shame and because it is often associated with various drug addictions, anxiety disorders, depression, major mental illness and personality disorders, finding treatments to counteract internalized shame is vital. Yet, the state of the arts in managing, if not eliminating internalized shame is rather poor and the treatments are rarely evaluated. reports on a small study of how a brief therapy session affected perceptions of internalized shame. Though far from a systematic, this phase-one clinical trial suggests that the treatment for shame is promising and warrants further study.

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