Leading NYC Psychotherapist Describes How Shame Impacts Mental Health and Life

Renowned NYC Psychologist and Wolf of Wall Street Ex-Wife, Dr. Nadine Macaluso, on How Shame Impacts Our Mental Health and Relationships


Renowned NYC Psychologist and Wolf of Wall Street Ex-Wife, Dr. Nadine Macaluso, on How Shame Impacts Our Mental Health and Relationships

Dr. Nadine Macaluso is one of the leading psychotherapists in the United States due to her expertise in Complex PTSD, attachment trauma, and shame. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist with private practice locations in Glen Cove, New York, and Boca Raton, Florida. Before relocating to the east coast in 2020, Dr. Nadine worked in private practice in California, where she also earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Dr. Nae, as her patients call her, is known as the Mindful Communicator and Master Connector because her approach to therapy is heavily relational, emotional, and somatic. She emphasizes and teaches her patients how to restore a mind-body connection.


Dr. Nae believes that the mind-body connection often gets disrupted due to early life trauma or instances of neglect and abuse in childhood – the same experiences that cause shame to develop. In fact, after 10 years of being in private practice, Dr. Macaluso says that the most common problem she encounters with her patients is internalized shame. In an excerpt of her upcoming book, Dr. Nae states, “Shame is at the root of all non-biological mental health issues and relationship problems.”
Dr. Macaluso explains that the shame that people carry from youth to adulthood often subconsciously manifests in people’s sense of self and interferes with their ability to create healthy and meaningful relationships with others and also with themselves. Additionally, “The internalized pain of shame causes coping mechanisms to develop, such as addiction to substances and compulsive behaviors.” These coping mechanisms interfere with self-development and relationships with others as well.

Dr. Nadine believes when shame goes unresolved, it hijacks a person’s emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. This disruption can manifest in several ways, such as interfering with a person’s ability for self-love, confidence, and productivity; it can create barriers to fulfilling relationships, causes social anxiety, and gives rise to a range of other mental health problems. Shame is primarily triggered by Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which arises from adverse childhood experiences or chronic trauma in adulthood, yet helping patients recover from trauma is Dr. Macaluso’s primary clinical skill.


Dr. Nadine states that when shame becomes attached to how a person identifies himself/herself, it leads to low self-esteem, self-hatred, inability to feel self-worth, and inability to perceive or actualize self-love. When left unchecked for years, which is often the case because therapy remains stigmatized, shame gives rise to mental health issues like anxiety, depression, impulse-control disorders, addictions, mood disorders, and more. Shame impacts just about every aspect of a person’s life. Most of the time, people don’t realize how deeply shame controls their emotions, thoughts, perception, beliefs, and ultimately their lives!

Dr. Macaluso says that shame also causes serial-dependency on others due to a lack of self-love and positive relational experiences. When a person experiences shame repeatedly, they begin to avoid or fear interpersonal relationships altogether due to excessive self-criticism. Dr. Nae states, “Emotional abuse causes an automatic assumption that people will reject or criticize you – this forms a negative concept of others.” So, the person either runs away from relationships or fails to maintain one, which forms a continual self-destructive loop that only worsens the problem.

Negative relational experiences are driven by shame and lead a person to believe that they are not worthy of love and often lead to a trauma-bond relationship. A trauma bond is a type of relationship where one person remains loyal and committed despite repeated betrayal, abuse, or exploitation. An expert on trauma bonds, due to her previous marriage to the Wolf of Wall Street, Dr. Nae helps her patients heal shame and guilt to connect to their authentic self, which helps create inner peace, something that most people try to find from external sources. Dr. Nae states that healing shame requires calibrating one’s emotions, enhancing relational IQ, and connecting to the core-self.

Treating the effects of shame in people’s lives is complex and takes time, but Dr. Nadine wants the world to know it is very much possible to heal! With over a decade of experience as a clinical therapist, Dr. Macaluso’s intimate and open approach to therapy has created an environment where her patients can open up about their vulnerabilities, fears, insecurities, and trigger-points. This more relational approach helps her precisely define the road to recovery for her patients. Over the years, Dr. Nadine has worked with hundreds of patients, helping them safely come out of emotional comfort zones to explore the new possibilities life has to offer.


As Dr. Nadine Macaluso rightly puts it – “Through the different actions and interventions of therapy, you build internal and external resources to influence yourself. By connecting to your core-self, you can create a positive, secure self-image. You can have agency! You can create the life and relationships you want because you develop a sense of your value in the world.”

As an advocate for breaking the stigma of mental health and making mental health resources widely available, Dr. Nadine will be releasing, at no cost, a therapy e-journal with research-backed ways to heal shame and create vitality.

Dr. Nadine specializes in shame and Complex PTSD, and she actively practices in Glen Cove, New York, and Boca Raton, Florida, and currently offers online therapy sessions.

For this or more free information from Dr. Macaluso visit her resources page and follow her on social media, where she regularly discusses topics of shame, trauma, narcissistic abuse, and provides daily mental health tips.

Contact Info:
Name: Dr. Nadine Macaluso
Email: Send Email
Organization: Nadine Macaluso, Ph.D. – Psychologist, New York
Address: Glen Cove, NY
Phone: (347) 464-5547
Website: https://www.nadinemacaluso.com/nyc/