In this episode we discuss that most difficult and painful of feelings - shame. Shame is so difficult to express and talk about because, by its very nature, it is a set of feelings that must be hidden at all costs. 

In the podcast we discuss the difference between guilt and shame; we talk about the idea that shame is a feeling that feeds upon a negative perception of how you are seen and judged by other people; we then go onto talk about the kind of social shame that many people experience due to poverty and circumstances beyond their control; and we end up by discussing ways that people try to get rid of or avoid feelings of shame.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.


This is a short film inspired by the work of psychoanalyst Paul Gilbert who developed Compassion - focussed Therapy (CFT). CFT is compassionate mind training, which teaches people the skills and attributes of compassion. The approach aims to help transform problematic patterns of thinking and emotion related to anxiety, anger, shame and self-criticism.

In the podcast we talk about how psychologist Erik Erikson suggests that people can try to absorb shame by behaving in ways to externalise their shame by committing crime or treating others badly and generally being a bit of a shit - ‘if I’m guilty you won’t notice my shame’. This film touches on the painful ways we try and hide our shame - but its message is ultimately hopeful - that by recognising shame and bringing greater compassion to ourselves and others we can move away from these feelings. 

More about CFT can be found here

In the podcast we also talk about the kind of shame that a person can feel due to the stigma of poverty. This social perspective on shame is the subject of this short film about a group of women from Leeds who tell their stories of poverty and shame through eight everyday objects. These amazing women have worked together in grassroots community projects to fight the shame that surrounds poverty.

Fighting Shame from The Guardian on Vimeo.