Welcome To The 2021

World Championships Of Shame Attacking!

Share Your Shame Attack

Shame Attacking In his 2010 autobiography Albert Ellis wrote “Shame is often the essence of what we call human neurosis or disturbance.”

In 1968 Ellis invented a behavioral method that can quickly reduce or eliminate this toxic emotion – “shame attacking.” My colleagues and I regularly practice this method and prescribe it to our patients. When we find the unwritten rules we have for ourselves repressing our freedom and spontaneity and creating shame, self-consciousness and social anxiety, we can set out to break those rules in a public setting and collect data about what happens when we do. Very often, this data helps us see these oppressive rules are unnecessary for our safety and wellness. We also find that being our silly, rule-breaking selves is a much more relaxed, fun and human road forward. My colleagues and I, shamelessly, share a few of our own shame attacking stories in this post.

In essence, we attack shame by acting in ways that are:

  • Public
  • Harmless
  • Against some oppressive rule we have for ourselves - and would like to rewrite

In his book Ellis gives some examples:

  • Walking into a crowded store and yelling out the time, train-station style
  • Walking a banana down a sidewalk on a long red leash, stopping now and then to pet and praise it
  • Calling out each train stop in a crowded subway car

Share Your Shame Attack

Join Us We invite you to join the ranks of Dr. Ellis and countless other distinguished rulebreakers

We also invite you to induct yourself into our Hall Of Shame Attacking by posting a description of your rule breaking on this entry form. For video entries, please post the link to your video. Paste links into your browser to view. Senior faculty at All Things CBT will read each entry on shameless view below and on July 4th of this year crown the 2021 World Champion Of Shame Attacking. Our shameless champion will receive one hundred US dollars and an invitation to appear on our All Things CBT YouTube program to discuss their triumph. Our first and second place runners up will each receive fifty US dollars and a three-month subscriptions to our weekly online training and consultation workshop, All Things CBT.

Good luck - and shame on you!

Hall Of Shame Attacking

First NameLast NameLocationEntry
Pomona, California USA
San Francisco, California USA
Pomona, California
Maria Elena
Pmona Valley, California
Here are the Top 5 of my shame attacks! 1 - I went to Baskin Robins and asked if they had any rice balls. The lady at the counter seemed confused but she was really polite in telling me “no”. 2 - I stood in front of a building next to a statue, posing exactly like the statue. People walking by completely ignored me.  3 - I walked up to a guard at The imperial palace and asked where the imperial palace was. The guard told me « It’s right in front of you » with a straight face. He was very polite in doing so. 4 - I went to a gyudon (beef rice bowl) restaurant and asked if I can buy only the bowl. The lady went to ask her manager if this was possible, but she eventually told me no. 5 - I asked « how can I get to Iidabashi station? » at the ticket booth of Iidabashi station. The station staff told me « this is Iidabashi station » in a confused but serious way.
Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Canada
When I was 10, I went to a camp. At this camp, we had to drink lots of water during the meals, which leads to going to the washroom a lot. My cabin was not close to the washroom, so when I had to go, I had to hurry. One time when I had to go really bad, I made it to the bathroom stall, but my shorts were a little too tight. I couldn’t pull them down fast enough, and all that water that I had drank came running out into my pants. I went and told a camp counsellor, but she told me she couldn’t help me at the moment so I had to go tell another counsellor. She walked me back to my cabin, and after I changed, she took my clothes to the laundry. Later, when my clothes had been washed, and when everyone who was in my cabin was there, a different counsellor came in and asked “Is this anyone’s underwear?” So, I had to go up and grab it, and of course everyone asked about it and I had to tell my whole cabin yet! About a year later, in school we had a project about an embarrassing moment. I decided to write about this moment, but what I didn’t know was that I had to share it with my class. I shared it anyway, because I thought it might make them laugh.
Berkeley, CA
I can not sing at all - when my son was a baby and I sang him a lullaby he would cry harder! So for my shame attacking session, I went to a gas station and sang my heart out for 20 minutes. Some people glared at me but some people applauded me and I even got $10 in tips! The manager of the gas station kicked me out after a while and I survived that, too!
Stuttgart, Germany
While visiting the Porsche museum I asked the ticket person if I could take their 1956 Speedster for a spin. He explained they don't allow the public to drive their cars. So I asked if I could just 3D print a Speedster of my own. He looked confused. "So long as you don't touch ours, I guess that's alright," he said.
Bengaluru, India
I hailed an auto rickshaw in the city center. When it stopped I asked the driver how many Rupees it would cost to ride home and have dinner with him. He looked surprised. Then he said "I tell you sir, the way my sister cooks, I'd certainly have to pay you for that trip."