There Is Nothing Wrong With You


This is a great introduction to talking about internalized shame, and the burden we carry of feeling inadequate, or somehow tragically flawed or not good enough or that we need to hide who we really are.


Cheri Huber's book There is Nothing wrong with You, pages 2 to 6.

Click here to view book. This is a new version, so the page numbers may not match.

The book has a great section on how things we hear in childhood can add to our feelings of not being good enough, or our belief that there is something wrong with us. I read the list of common phrases that are said to children from the book. but you could do this exercise by generating your own list in class and then talking about how it affects children when they hear these things.

I noticed Cheri includes some of her list in the talk: There is nothing wrong with us


  1. Read Pages 2 to 6 aloud in class. When we get to the list of phrases, I go around the class, and have each person read one phrase. I encourage anyone who doesn't want to read, to just say pass. Its powerful to hear this in multiple voices.
  2. Discussion:
    • I ask if anyone has heard some of these?
    • I ask if anyone wants to add to the list? I always add, "What's wrong with you?", my Mom's favorite.
    • I ask how do they think these types of comments affect children?
    • I ask if we ever find ourselves repeating these things?
    • I ask, Why do our parents say these things?
  3. I conclude that many people carry a heavy burden of shame that often stems from childhood experiences. This is undeserved and we can do something about it. Then I lead into Bradshaw's work on healing internalized shame.
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