Unemployed and High Achiever? Working with Active Imagination and Symbols to Transform Shame

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Work and employment are very important identity-building aspects in post-modern societies. Individuals who experience unemployment often face shame and humiliation. Particularly for high achievers, unemployment is experienced as being traumatic and the feeling of shame is multiplied. This chapter deals with the question of how the shame of unemployment can be overcome by high achievers. First, the theoretical background is described and the context of working with high achievers and unemployment with regard to a specific case is presented. Two intervention methods of self-management in therapeutic and coaching contexts are discussed: active imagination and symbol work. Both methods have been used to transform shame in unemployed high achievers successfully. They can be used as auto-didactical approaches or in therapeutical or counselling contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Bright Side of Shame
Subtitle of host publicationTransforming and Growing through Practical Applications in Cultural Contexts
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783030134099
ISBN (Print)9783030134082
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Active imagination
  • High achiever
  • Shame
  • Symbol work
  • Unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • General Social Sciences


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