il_570xN.424191647_36qrWhenever I meet someone and they strongly and positively impact my life, I consider it a blessing and an honor.  In saying that, I considered it to be a great blessing getting to know F. Remy Diedrerich, the author of the book Healing The Hurts Of Your Past and the lead pastor at Cedarbrook Church.

In his book, he identified three roots of shame and I wanted to share this information with you.  I have seen how important it is to be able to talk and process events surrounding shame with clients.  For some, it strongly influenced their addiction and lack of self worth.

Be careful to note that shame is not produced by past events.  Shame is produced by what you believe about those events.  If you come to believe self-accusing lies about yourself as a result of personal experiences, these lies will lead to shame.


Here are the roots of shame identified in the book:


“Abuse happens when someone crosses the boundaries of another person and enters their personal space for their own gain and to the detriment of their victim.”  It is important to also note that abuse can be either emotional, spiritual, sexual or physical.


“Ridicule only affirms our nagging doubts about our value.  It makes us feel different and not in a good way.  Ridicule makes us feel unacceptable and often causes us to withdraw into our own world where we are safe from attack.”


Remy identifies neglect as interest as it can be seen as being passive.  He states, “with neglect, the message is I can ignore you because you are worthless.”

Family and Personal Secrets

He states that when there is dysfunction within the family, one may take on the shame associated with this dysfunction and family dynamics.  He identified that as “guilt by association.”

Traumatic Events

This was identified as the final root of shame.  He suggested that “when trauma happens, it is easy to take the blame on yourself.”  As a result, an individual may believe that the trauma was their fault.

I encourage you to explore the role that shame plays in your life.  Are you able to identify with any of the roots of shame?  How “deep” have these roots grown in your life?  Who can you reach out to for help and support as you go through the journey of healing?

Photo credit to Yapespaints on Etsy




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    Last reviewed: 20 Feb 2014

APA Reference
Callender, K. (2014). The Roots Of Shame. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 30, 2015, from



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  • Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC: Thanks for sharing that Laurie!
  • Laurie: I am in favor of setting healthy boundaries. I also opt to be a caring and nurturing person whenever possible...
  • Vixs66: I agree with all of these, it would also help if those who are “carrying” around shame...
  • Karisse Callender, MS, SAC, LPC: Thank you for sharing! Grounding can be so helpful and a great way to maintain a...
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