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"Shame and the Evil Eye" Workshop Presented by Sandra Miller, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst

  • The First Unitarian Church of Cleveland 21600 Shaker Boulevard Shaker Heights, OH, 44122 United States (map)

Event Summary: 

“We turn away the whole body, most especially the face, which we endeavor in some manner to hide. An ashamed person can hardly endure to meet the gaze of those present, so that he almost invariably casts down his eyes or looks askant.”


Many folk cultures in ancient and current times believe that misfortune can be caused through the mere act of looking upon someone. This workshop takes an archetypal perspective to this widespread bit of folklore and asks what psychological meaning it carries. Dr. Miller will review some of the current anthropological literature about the widespread evil eye motif and the array of apotropaic devices that are believed to offer protection from its destruction.

The dynamics of envy and shame figure prominently in the evil eye motif. In this workshop, Dr. Miller will focus specifically on shame.

How should we understand shame? What purpose does it serve? Psychoanalytic literature has described it variously as an innate affect, as a defense, as a reaction formation against the sexual drive or as a narcissistic response to the failure to meet an ego-ideal. Dr. Miller will draw from the archetypal image of the evil eye to explore the phenomenon of shame as a universal affect that is typical in human experience and as a clinical phenomenon that can hamper an individual’s ability to love and work. Dr. Miller shall explore the developmental precursors to excessive shame, and its interpersonal and intrapsychic manifestations. Dr. Miller shall also consider the particular challenges for the clinician when treating individuals with excessive shame.

Lecture CEU Objectives:


  1. Recognize the clinical manifestation of shame in their patients
  2. Differentiate between shame and guilt
  3. Understand fundamental factors which contribute to an excessive sense of shame
  4. Understand the archetypal foundations of shame as a universal and clinical experience
  5. Understand the significance of the evil eye symbol in constituting shame
  6. Discuss strategies for treatment of individuals with excessive shame

About the Presenter: 

Sandra E. Miller, Ph.D. is a psychologist and Jungian analyst in private practice in Pittsburgh. Dr. Miller is a Senior Analyst with the Inter-Regional Society of Jungian Analysts. She is a training analyst and Coordinator of Education for the Pittsburgh Seminar of the Inter-Regional Society (The C.G. Jung Institute Analyst Training Institute of Pittsburgh). She serves as chair of the Inter-Regional Society Membership Committee, and has recently begun a study group for analysts and training candidates interested in Sandplay. She has served as adjunct associate professor at Duquesne University, providing supervision for advanced doctoral students in clinical psychology.  In addition to her analytic work, Dr. Miller offers play therapy for young children and parent consultation. She is an avid gardener.

Please email for more information.