Because of the simplicity of the Self-Acceptance Psychology paradigm, the model is very easy to implement when assessing and working with psychotherapy clients. Once a clinician understands the Five Causative Factors and Three Shame Management Strategies, the framework is a powerful tool toward personal growth.
When clinicians privilege an understanding that shame is driving behaviors, they can maintain a compassionate stance toward clients. Even egregious behaviors, such as domestic violence, can be understood to be a distressed over-reaction to the shame of being rejected by a partner, likely stemming from insecure attachment with parents.
When understanding, empathy, and compassion are at the root of the therapeutic relationship, the client can relax into a trusting stance and possibly be more forthcoming in therapy. Eventually, he may even be more trusting of himself, leading to a more honest and accepting relationship with himself.
Therapeutic interventions focus on addressing shame, improving self-compassion, and managing cognitions that cause fear/anxiety. The result is that relationships with self and others improve.
The benefits of Self-Acceptance Psychology include these:
- it explains human emotional, cognitive, and behavioral patterns as natural, predictable responses to real threats or perceived fears
- it normalizes and de-stigmatizes thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as adaptive and self-protective
- it improves the likelihood that clinicians will view clients as normal and not disordered
- it encourages client accountability
- it directly addresses the emotion (shame) and cognition (low self-worth) that lead to most “mental illnesses”
- it is based on common sense, facts, and scientific research, so is more accurate, valid, and reliable than the DSM
- it is a simple, transparent, and understandable conceptual framework accessible to clinicians and the public
- it uses behavioral explanations that lead directly to case formulation and to effective methods of therapeutic intervention and self-help
- it provides hope for permanent change through research-proven strategies of mindful self-compassion leading to self-acceptance
- interventions are harmless, unlike medications, and provide hope for permanent change.
Most significantly for the public, Self-Acceptance Psychology will improve emotional understanding and acceptance of the self, leading to positive impacts on all aspects of a person’s life and relationships.
For a more in-depth explanation of Self-Acceptance Psychology concepts, purchase an 85-page PDF for $5.