These training workshops are designed to help therapists show clients how to recognize shame, work through it and move on. We will teach you how to become more sensitive to the shaming often implicit in the therapy situation and learn how to counter shame in therapy. You will learn how to help clients separate feelings of shame from other emotions. And you’ll learn how to take clients back to early shaming situations and reverse the outcome, helping clients move their energy powerfully outward rather than turn it against themselves. Each of our workshops has a balance of didactic, experiential and interactive elements. In each, there are live demonstrations to anchor the theory and techniques taught, as well as time for questions and comments. The workshops can be taken in any order, except for the Advanced Workshops, which require at least two previous workshops.

The Center for Healing Shame is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists to sponsor continuing education for MFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs in California - CAMFT Approved CE provider #134393. PhDs in California and PhDs and licensed therapists outside of California may be able to receive CE credits through the co-sponsorship of R. Cassidy Seminars.

Healing Shame Core Workshop


Shame is perhaps the most painful of all emotions. It is at the root of both the inner critic and perfectionism. It binds with and hides behind other emotions, such as anger and fear, so that it is often hard to detect. Many people go to great lengths to avoid acknowledging or even feeling shame—and this gets in the way of making progress in treatment.

In this workshop, designed for therapists and other helping professionals, you will become aware of shame as both a primary emotion and a freeze state, which has a profound effect on personal development and relationship success, and which has been terribly neglected in most psychotherapy. You will learn that shame cannot be worked with in the same way as the other primary emotions and that special care needs to be taken to work with shame in specific ways.
No prerequisite. Can be taken by itself or as part of a sequence.

Sex And Shame Workshop


Sexuality is a vital, defining part of our identity. We are at our most vulnerable when we experience sexual feelings—and therefore we're the most prone to feeling shame. We are subject to sexual shaming from early childhood, when we are most vulnerable to moral judgments from family and society and to boundary violations from family members and those older than us. Entering our teenage years, we long to be attractive to others and try desperately to "be cool" and fit in. As adults, we seek a partner and try to balance the constraints of monogamy with sexual adventure. In our mature years, our ability to function sexually diminishes and our faces and bodies are no longer as we remember them.

In this workshop, we will offer tools you can use to help clients talk about, explore and heal the sexual shame that can arise at any stage in the life cycle—and help them towards a life-affirming sexuality.
No prerequisite. Can be taken by itself or as part of a sequence.

Melting The Shame Freeze Somatic Workshop


Shame is an embodied belief that "something is wrong with me." Because shame exists in the body as well as in the mind, it is helpful for therapists to work with shame somatically. Clients stuck in shame have trouble seeing anyone but themselves. It can be hard for them to receive support from another person as they are caught in the grip of shame.

In this workshop, we will explore how to utilize somatic techniques to connect more quickly with the client and forge a strong therapeutic alliance. 
No prerequisite. Can be taken by itself or as part of a sequence.

Through The Looking Glass: Using Imaginal Resources to Heal Shame


We are all born with powerful, imaginal resources. We can easily imagine people, places and things that have never existed in our everyday reality. Children learn to cope with life largely through play and fantasy. As we get older, we may use this ability less and less, but it still stays with us. Our imagination not only makes life more interesting, it helps us survive.

We have developed our Imaginal Workshop to provide new and powerful tools that have been incredibly under-utilized in most therapy trainings. Working with shame cognitively can only get us so far. When clients get stuck in shame, the most powerful way to help them get unstuck is to activate their imagination. What was stuck in the cognitive realm can be reexamined and shifted. Shaming situations from the past can be revisited and resolved. Utilizing the Imaginal Realm can greatly expand your toolkit and give you powerful and exciting new ways to heal shame.

In this workshop, we will utilize techniques from Drama Therapy, Focusing, Expressive Arts Therapy, Jungian creative imagination and Hakomi. We will explore the critical voices and/or the childhood scenes that are still driving the internal shame dynamic in the client.
No prerequisite. Can be taken by itself or as part of a sequence.

Healing Shame In Couples


The more we care about each other, the more vulnerable we are to shame. Intentionally or unintentionally, we poke each other in the tender spots. Couples can shame each other multiple times a day, often without realizing what is happening. This can become a highly reactive cycle, preventing both people from getting their basic safety and attachment needs met. And shame can distort how we hear each other; the received message may have little to do with the message the partner is attempting to send.

In this workshop we will explore the blame/shame game couples can fall into and how to help them stop shaming each other and work together to create a secure base and heal the wounds of the past.
No prerequisite. Can be taken by itself or as part of a sequence.

Advanced 1: Giving Back the Shame

This hands-on two-weekend workshop provides a chance to practice specific techniques for working with shame so that you can be even more precise and effective in helping clients gently feel into and integrate their shame.  We will look at the moment-to-moment interaction between therapist and client and how to be both caring and forceful, both gentle and relentless, in helping your client to a more positive and accurate view of self and other. You will gain practical experience in attuning more fully to your clients and developing and keeping a safe container so that shame can be explored delicately, without overwhelming yourself or the client.

The workshop now includes an extensive exploration on how to give the shame back, the final step in our process, which can only happen after considerable work.  We will teach a variety of ways in which clients can give shame back and release the deadening energy from the past in a way that is ego-syntonic—not scary, but actually comfortable and satisfying for them.
Prerequisite: You must have already taken two Healing Shame workshops.

Advanced 2: ShameShifting - Transforming Toxic Shame Into Healthy Shame

In this advanced workshop, you will learn to help yourselves and your clients shift the shame,
transforming it from toxic freeze to helpful change agent. How do we learn from and modify
our words and behaviors without going into the toxic freeze state of shame? Even when we
have been shamed or abused, how do we take responsibility for the part of what happened
that is ours, even if it is quite small, and learn from it? We will cover the shame produced in
many situations in which we feel we have let someone down or broken some important
rules, including affairs. 
Prerequisite: You must have already taken two Healing Shame workshops.