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Webinar. The Shame in Trauma and the Trauma in Shame - Providing Resources

  • 15 Oct 2020
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Zoom


  • Members don't pay

Registration is closed

A USABP Spotlight Webinar Series Event Produced in Association with the Center for Healing Shame is Presented by Sheila Rubin and Bret Lyon.

They will take us through the connection between shame and trauma and ways to unlock resources to work with both effectively.

  • 2 CE credits Available for Psychologists, Social Workers, MFTs, Counselors
  • This live event is recorded for encore viewing by members and paid registrants

Shame often accompanies trauma and being shamed can have a traumatic effect. Shame and Trauma are both states of freeze.

Being able to understand and have compassion for the parts of the person that are still frozen in shame helps us be able to sit with a client without having our own shame triggered. Memories of a time when a person froze in embarrassment or shock can help unlock the unhealed places in a person’s physiology.

In working with trauma, there is a tendency to miss the shame component that is often hiding in plain sight.

And shame can be worked with most successfully as a form of trauma, utilizing many somatic techniques.

Shame also has a strong cognitive component - the belief that “something is wrong with me” - that needs to be addressed.

In this presentation, we will explore the connection between shame and trauma and look at ways to unlock somatic and imaginal resources to work with both effectively.

Course Objectives

  • Describe the strong similarities between shame and trauma - and the important differences

  • Name the four basic reactions to shame and the characteristics of each reaction.

  • Utilize techniques to counter feelings of shame.

  • Discuss strategies to get though shame defenses of over-verbalization, dissociation and freezing.

  • Utilize four realms of human experience—cognitive, somatic-emotional, imaginal and interpersonal—to create optimal distance from shame.

  • Identify the differences between healthy shame and toxic shame.

This webinar is free to members and $45 for non-members. The 2 CE credits cost an additional $15 for members and non-members.


4-4:10 Intro- who we are and why we do this work

4:10-4:20 Definitions of Shame-

· “Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging.” Brown

·  “Shame is the breaking of the interpersonal bridge.”  Kaufman

4:20 -4:40 Shame and Trauma

·  Creating a Counter-Shaming Environment (40 min)

·  Both involve a state of freeze due to dorsal vagal shutdown.

·  Shame can be developmental – many smaller incidents.

·  Shame like trauma evokes feelings of powerlessness.

·   Many incidents of trauma produce shame.

·   Slow it way down – Establish proper distance –Touch in, touch out.

4:40 - 4:50  Reactions to Shame (see chart attached)

4:50 – 5:15 Physiology of Shame

·  Shame is a combination of an emotion and a freeze state. It is designed to lower affect.

·   Porges Polyvagal Theory – Shame, like trauma, is a parasympathetic shut down (freeze), produced when the sympathetic nervous system is too agitated (hyper-arousal).

·  Shame binds with other emotions (Tompkins)

·   Shame is a Primary Emotion

5:15 -5:45 Resourcing Exercises

·   Somatic exercises to help client learn to ground their energy through the feet and legs.

·   Provide psycho-education to normalize somatic sensations and energy in the body.

·  Explain reason to resource somatically when working with shame.

·  Help client experience a series of successes.

·   Therapist as resource - Help the client see you seeing them. Let them know they are held in your mind and heart. (Fosha)

5:45-6 Questions

Learn more about the Center for Healing Shame


Sheila Rubin and Bret Lyon are the founders of the Center for Healing Shame. They have been at the forefront of guiding mental health professionals to recognize and move through shame with their clients.

Sheila Rubin, MA, LMFT, RDT/BCT is a leading authority on Healing Shame. She co-created the Healing Shame – Lyon/Rubin method and has delivered talks, presentations and workshops across the country and around the world, at conferences from Canada to Romania, for over 30 years.

Sheila is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Registered Drama Therapist and a Board Certified Trainer. She has developed therapy techniques that integrate AEDP, EFT, drama therapy and somatic therapy to work with the all-pervasive shame and trauma that underlie eating disorders, addictions and toxic family dynamics. Sheila has served as adjunct faculty at JFK University and the California Institute of Integral Studies. Her expertise, teaching, and writing contributions have been featured in numerous publications, including six books.

Sheila offers therapy through her private practice in Berkeley and also offers consultation to therapists over Skype.

Bret Lyon, PhD, SEP has been a teacher of Somatic and Emotional Mindfulness for over 30 years and holds doctorates in both Psychology and Drama.

He is certified in Focusing and Somatic Experiencing® and has trained in EFT with Sue Johnson, in AEDP with Diana Fosha and in Coherence Therapy with Bruce Ecker.

Bret has also trained in Reichian Breathwork with Al Bauman, who worked directly with Wilhelm Reich. He finds his theater background very helpful with clients and especially in giving presentations.


Broucek, F. J. (1991). Shame and the self. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.

Kaufman, G. (1985). Shame: the power of caring. Rochester, VT: Schenkman Books.

Levine, P. (2010). In an unspoken voice: how the body releases trauma and restores goodness. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Levine, P. (1997). Waking the tiger: healing shame. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.

Nathanson, D. (1992.) Shame and pride: affect, sex, and the birth of the self. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company.

Porges, S. (2011). The polyvagal theory: neurophysiological foundations of emotions, attachment, communications and self-regulation. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Rubin, S. (2007) Women, food and feelings: drama therapy with women who have an eating disorder. In S. Brooke (Ed.) The creative therapies and eating disorders (pp. 173-193). Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

*Cancellation policy. For questions or concerns, email

*Certificates are available following course completion. Email right after attending the live event for further instructions.

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