Can you imagine loving everything about yourself? Does that even seem possible? We can help…
Loving the Unlovable
A 3-week live, online course with Ann Weiser Cornell to Transform Shame and Self-Blame
Do you feel like you’re a flawed, imperfect person, deep down?
Many of us carry a sense of being deeply wrong inside, hoping that others will never find out how flawed we are. I know I did… All through my teenage and young adult years, I felt I was fundamentally not good enough, and therefore I couldn’t be loved or respected by anyone who really knew me.
It takes a lot of energy to hide who you really are.
It’s a Catch-22. If I show my shameful, “ugly,” probably disgusting deepest self, then people will recoil from me and I’ll be alone. But if I don’t show who I am, nobody really knows me, and I’m essentially alone anyway. The hiding takes a lot of energy and just perpetuates the belief that I’ve got something horrible at my core.
Our feelings of shame and self-loathing feel like proof that we’ve got to hide our true selves.
There’s a self-perpetuating cycle that moves from the painful body feelings of self-loathing… to the shame that convinces us we have to hide our true selves from others… to the loneliness of never being seen and appreciated for our true selves. And around the cycle again.
Yes, there is a way out of that cycle…
It starts with turning toward the feelings, without believing what they seem to tell us.
“Shaming” is a process, not a truth.
A part of you does “shaming” so that the so-called unlovable parts of you will stay hidden away. It has nothing to do with whether those parts of you are actually bad, flawed, “ugly” or shameful! Hint: They’re not.
What’s really locked away at your core is a longing for connection and mutuality that got blocked long ago.
Imagine reaching out for a hug and getting slapped instead… or simply ignored. When our natural impulses for connection and mutuality get blocked – even punished – those fundamental needs get locked away under various veneers – from “I don’t need anyone” to “I’m a needy vulnerable mess” to “There’s clearly something wrong with me but I don’t know what.”
You have everything you need to love yourself as you are.
It’s not even hard to do… as long as you start by having compassion for the parts of you that are shaming other vulnerable parts of you in order to save you from some scary fate. When you can step outside that whole dynamic… turn toward both the “Shamer” and the “Shamed” inside… then love and tenderness for yourself naturally awakens.
As you grow stronger in your ability to love yourself, you have more freedom and possibility in your life.
When you do this work, your strong calm Self gets bigger and your energy is freed up because there is no longer a need to hide certain aspects of yourself. The sky’s the limit for creativity, enjoyment, and accomplishment!
Join me in this course where I’ll show you:
- The amazing truth that “shame” is a process that is meant to protect you… and how this means you can stop having to feel crippling shame
- How to step outside the cycle of shame, feeling bad about yourself, and loneliness
- Seven ways you can cultivate your strong, calm Self, the “you” that you can feel good about being
This course could be right for you if:
- You’ve ever felt that parts of yourself, including your body, are bad, wrong, or unlovable
- You feel you have to hide away aspects of yourself for fear others will see what’s wrong with you
- You want to grow in your ability to feel good about yourself, confident, and empowered
What You’ll Get:
In this course, you’ll experience a series of playful and profound processes for encountering the most unlovable parts of yourself… and embracing them.
Not only that, but also embracing the part of you that doesn’t love them!
The result: at least a taste of the freedom and ease that are possible for you as you transform painful inner states into something more life-affirming.
About Your Guide
Ann Weiser Cornell, PhD, is the co-developer (with Barbara McGavin) of Inner Relationship Focusing. Ann learned Focusing in 1972 from its developer, Eugene Gendlin, and was his close friend and colleague to the end of his life.
Ann has written several definitive books on Focusing, including The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing, and Focusing in Clinical Practice: The Essence of Change.
She has taught Inner Relationship Focusing around the world since 1980, and is a past president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology.
“Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke
Are You Ready to Start Loving What Feels Unlovable in You?
I Can Help Get You There…
Curious about this course? Listen in to a free webinar from October 30th on Loving the Unlovable. You’ll come away with:
- A new perspective on the process by which something in us is called “disgusting,” “ugly,” or “unlovable” — and why
- A healthy dose of doubt that any part of you is actually unlovable
- Three simple tools for accessing your appreciation of yourself
(If you can’t make the time of the webinar, please register anyway, and we’ll send you a recording link on the next day.)
“Definition: An inner criticizing part is any part of you that believes that you or another part of you has to change in order for you to be OK.”
– Ann Weiser Cornell, Radical Gentleness
- K.L."One of my biggest challenges was feeling/being stuck in the muck of conclusions that a very young part of me came to in order to cope with my mother's neglect and verbal abuse. I decided I'd never be able to get the help I needed...no matter what I tried...so why try? My best efforts just weren't good enough. Through the exercises in the course, I was able to see the despair of this small girl inside me and finally draw her into my adult heart with love and compassion so she doesn't feel so hopeless, defeated, and isolated. I feel an enormous sense of gratitude to Ann and to Focusing for this newfound tenderness!"
- Trisha Cripps"After taking the Loving the Unlovable course, I notice I'm speaking up at times when I wouldn't have before. When I have a need or a want, instead of staying quiet I'm quite naturally just asking. That's a biggie for me because I have such strong conditioning to not ask for anything. For such a deep subject, Ann introduces it in a loving, uncomplicated way that makes it easy to work with. It's so comforting to be in a group with people who have similar issues, to feel the bond of shared experience, and take steps toward change together."
- Pablo García Gutiérrez"Before Loving the Unlovable, I really struggled to accept some circumstances of my life that left me feeling ashamed and vulnerable. I was born "by accident" - an unplanned child and I could barely tolerate the shame I felt about that. I used to push those feelings out. Now, I can be more open to them. That openness has created a great expansion in my life. This course truly went beyond my expectations. It helped me transform a fundamental attitude about my feelings into a more open, loving, natural, fascinating one. My relationship to my child self, my shame, and even my larger self is moving into a more healthy, spiritual and creative connection."
- L.R."Before taking the course it was really difficult for me to be willing to turn within and be with the hurting, angry, shamed places inside. That left me feeling very scared, resistant, tense, and tired. I felt afraid of parts of me, afraid there was something terribly bad and wrong within me that might hurt and destroy me. Now, I feel freer and more at ease knowing that everything inside me is actually trying to help me in it's own way. I think Loving the Unlovable is ideal because it brings understanding and compassion to the feeling that something in us is unlovable."
- Sarah T."I have struggled with feeling unlovable and inadequate for as long as I can remember. For decades I lived in a persistent state of panic, trying to prove to everyone that I was enough. I was overly helpful, nice, agreeable and giving -- all at the expense of my true self. It was utterly crazy-making. Loving the Unlovable gave me the language, "something in me" that allows me to honor the panicky child parts inside who were so alone in the past. It also helped me feel heard, validated, and encouraged to continue to listen to and honor the truth stored in my body. It nurtured my deep-seated wish to have the "courage to heal." Thank you, Ann!"
- Barbara Dickinson"Before the course, I tended to see every negative circumstance as either my fault entirely, or something I made worse. Now, I see that my role in most of these circumstances was either the result of resources, skills, and knowledge I didn't yet have, or the result of someone else behaving in a way no one should have to tolerate. Either way, I can now hold the belief that I am entirely lovable, apart from my actions, which are always well-intentioned and mostly successful. I now know that my mistakes are learning experiences, not signs that I am a failure through and through."
How Online Courses Work
We use Zoom, an online video conference platform, to connect you to other students and the teacher. Before the class starts you will receive a Zoom link to use each time the class meets. You can join us via your camera-equipped computer, tablet, or smart phone. Prefer not to be on video? You can turn off your camera. Don’t want to call via computer? You can call in by phone. Zoom is free and easy to use. You will be able to sign on in advance to make sure you can access it, but we’ve had very few problems with it. Students also receive access to a private webpage where course materials can be found.
There is no prerequisite for this course. All are welcome.
Continuing Education Credit & Course Completion Certificate
Course meets the qualifications for 6 hours of continuing education credit for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Focusing Resources, CAMFT Approved CE Provider #62524
Focusing Resources is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEPs. Focusing Resources maintains responsibility for this course and its content.
There is a $25 administrative fee for CE units. Course completion certificates are awarded at the end of the course upon completion of all requirements and the course evaluation. (If you don’t want CE units but would like a completion certificate, the $25 fee does still apply.)
Eligibility for CE units requires at least 80% live attendance. If you miss a class, it must be made up.
Cancellations, Changes & Refunds
Up to 14 days before the first day of class: Just let us know and we'll refund your course fee. Or you can choose to apply the entire course fee towards a future class with us.
Cancellations received 13 days or fewer before class begins: No refund, sorry.
When Something Doesn't Go As You'd Hoped...
We are always open to discussing experiences with our courses that didn’t work for you or didn’t go the way you expected. Depending on the circumstances, you may want to email your course instructor, the staff member in charge of your course, or Ann Weiser Cornell. Email addresses for all these people will be supplied on registration. We will work with you to find a way to meet your needs.
Do I need to attend every class meeting?
You can enroll in this course and listen to the recordings that are available 1-2 days after each class meeting. We call this remote attendance. Please Note: If you attend remotely, you are ineligible for CEUs.
Is this a course with partnership practice?
No, partnerships are not available for this course.
Tell me more about the classroom environment and how course content is provided?
Sure. This course is taught using an online video conference system called Zoom. You’ll receive all the details you need to join us via Zoom prior to the first class meeting. You’ll also receive a private class webpage where homework assignments and class recordings can be found. Participants will be able to communicate via an online forum on the private class webpage.