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USABP Presents - The Roots of Shame and Guilt

  • 14 Nov 2022
  • 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
  • Zoom


  • Members don't pay
  • Special rate for member invited guests that enter their given code.

Registration is closed

This Spotlight Series Event is brought to you in partnership with the NARM Training Institute.

Our featured presenter is
Dr. Laurence Heller, Ph.D. 
NARM Creator & Senior Faculty, NARM Training Institute

This event will be recorded and available for members and non-members who register for this event. This course will not include CEs. 


The roots of lifelong feelings of toxic shame and guilt are often found in the distress states caused by early developmental and shock trauma as well as direct shaming communications from parents. Children, not able to know themselves as “a good person in a bad situation,” experience early trauma as a personal failure, feeling that there is something wrong with them. Later negative beliefs about themselves such as “I am bad ” is built upon the early somatic sensation: “I feel bad.” On the level of identity, shame and guilt become the basis for crippling identifications and self-judgments that can last a lifetime. Understanding that shame and guilt have more to do with environmental failure than with personal failure has helped many people see themselves in a new, more compassionate way. Additionally, there is an intergenerational component where parents shame their children in similar ways to when they were children. This shaming dynamic is internalized, then turned against the self and passed on to the next generation.

The Main Points of This Workshop:

  • Toxic vs. Healthy shame and guilt
  • Shame and guilt as psychobiological processes
  • Shame based identifications
  • Identity and the nervous system

Participants will be taught how to work with shame and guilt from a NARM’s psychobiological orientation. We will focus on the interplay between the identity and the nervous system and the complex reinforcing loops that each has on the other.

Participants will learn:

  • Toxic shame and guilt vs. healthy shame and guilt.
  • Shame and guilt as psychobiological processes not just psychological defense mechanisms.
  • Shame is a process, not just a state. We will explore in detail how adults continue the shaming process.
  • Shame-based identifications are actually reinforced by pride based
  • Counter identification


  • Welcome
  • USABP Announcements
  • Presentation, Demo & Experiential
  • Q & A
  • Overtime discussion (after the event formally concludes), time permitting for presenter

Presenter Information

Dr. Laurence Heller, Ph.D.
NARM Creator & Senior Faculty, NARM Training Institute

Dr. Laurence Heller is the founder of the NeuroAffective Relational Model™ (NARM), a method of psychotherapy specifically aimed at treating attachment, relational and developmental trauma, otherwise referred to as “complex trauma” (Complex-PTSD or C-PTSD). NARM focuses on the adaptive survival strategies that people use to cope with trauma as the link for understanding the symptoms that people experience in the aftermath of traumas such as neglect, abuse, and chronic misattunment. This approach has proven to be very effective and transformational.

Dr. Heller is the author of the best-selling book Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, published in more than 15 languages. The Practical Guide for Healing Developmental Trauma: Using the NeuroAffective Relational Model to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences and Resolve Complex Trauma co-authored with NARM Training Director and Senior Faculty Brad Kammer presents the application of NARM for clinicians. Dr. Heller is also the co-author of Crash Course, A Self-Healing Guide to Auto Accident Trauma and Recovery published in English, German, Danish, and Italian. He speaks several languages and for the past 30 years has been conducting seminars on the NARM approach throughout the United States and Europe.

Dr. Heller has been on the faculty of several major universities and has taught courses and seminars at medical schools, hospitals, and pain clinics in the U.S. and Europe. He co-founded the Gestalt Institute of Denver and later the Rocky Mountain Psychotherapy Institute where he trained hundreds of mental health professionals. In the past 25 years, he has provided thousands of case consultations for therapists in the U.S. and Europe.

About the Spotlight Organization

The NeuroAffective Relational Model (NARM) addresses attachment, relational and developmental trauma by working with early, unconscious patterns of disconnection that deeply affect our identity, emotions, physiology, behavior and relationships. Integrating a body centered (“bottom-up”) and psychodynamic (“top-down”) approach, within a context of interpersonal neurobiology, and grounded in mindfulness and a non-western orientation to the Self, NARM offers a comprehensive theoretical and clinical model for working with complex trauma. READ MORE 


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