Understanding and Treating Chronic Shame in Complex Trauma (Recorded)


Note: This is a 5-hour recorded seminar. After you sign up, you’ll receive a link to stream the video on Zoom as well as instructions for completing a written post-test (required for CE credit).

Chronic shame often underlies stuck places and lack of progress in therapy, and is an enduring problem in clients who have experienced complex trauma. By its very nature, shame is hidden from others, including the therapist, and is difficult to acknowledge. Shame is re-experienced in similar ways as traumatic memories, with symptoms of intrusion, avoidance, and arousal, and thus must be approached carefully within a window of tolerance of the client. Therapists often feel they do not have sufficient skills to address shame effectively, as it is so powerful, embedded, alienating, and disconnecting. Talking about shame is often an ineffective strategy by itself.

We will explore several functions of shame, distinctions between shame and guilt, and how chronic shame may perpetuate other symptoms or problems. A practical integration of cognitive, emotional, relational, and somatic interventions to resolve chronic shame will be discussed. We will also explore specific “antidotes” to shame, as well as ways to help clients (and therapists) develop resilience to shame reactions. Most importantly, we will examine how to be with shame – our own and our client’s – with curiosity and compassion, finding ways to create a safe relational space in which to deeply attune with and repair our client’s chronic shame.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the several functions of shame, and the difference between healthy and chronic shame.
  • Discuss at least four reasons why people may develop chronic shame.
  • List the four defensive scripts described in the Compass of Shame, and identify them in yourself and a client.
  • Employ at least three cognitive, three emotional, and three somatic interventions to diminish chronic shame.
  • Describe the physiology of shame and how to work with it.
  • List at least three ways to support the development of shame resilience in ourselves and our clients.

Continuing Education Credit – 5 hours

  • APA – Avant Training is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Avant Training maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Participants may earn CE credit for homestudy programs upon successful completion of a written post-test, provided by Avant Training.
  • LPC – Avant Training has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 7225. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Avant Training is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • GSCSW –  This workshop is approved for Core CE hours through the Georgia Society for Clinical Social Work.


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Cancellation Policy

Please note that there are no refunds offered for recorded workshops. Send us an email at admin@avant-training.com if you have any questions before you register.