Shame can be the single biggest hindrance to making progress in therapy, recovering from trauma, building positive relationships, and moving forwards with life. Shame stops us in our tracks.
Rather than utilising active strategies to overcome our obstacles, shame causes us to huddle up, crouch down, freeze, and make ourselves invisible. It has a protective function, but one which can end up as a self-reinforcing loop: a vicious cycle.
Shame is the often unconscious belief that there is something fundamentally wrong with us as people – that we are ‘bad’. We often cannot define that badness, or even determine its cause. It just is. And that’s what makes shame so difficult to deal with. It lurks below the surface of consciousness, infecting everything we do and everything we feel, and often remaining frustratingly out of reach. It is not unusual for people to struggle with shame for years and even decades, nullifying progress that they may be making in other areas.
For survivors of child sexual abuse, shame is a kind of universal, identifying characteristic. And for survivors of other kinds of trauma, shame is never far away: if not shame at what happened, then shame at how we responded. Shame and the freeze response go hand-in-hand. And yet shame has its roots in our evolution and is not an accident. Could it be that shame actually serves to protect us? Could shame, approached in the right way, be our friend?
Shame convinces us that we do not belong: that we don’t fit in, that we’re not acceptable, and that there is nothing we can do about it, because shame doesn’t arise because of what we’ve done, but because of who we are. And if we’re bad, surely we’re just bad – what can we do about it?
How does modern-day society contribute to the shame-game? How has the rise of social media, victim-blaming and trolling both contributed to shame, and been driven by it? What are the links between shame and mental health? What about the links between shame and physical sickness? What is the way out of shame? What is the answer? Do we fight it, or roll with it? Do we require empathy and compassion from others to alleviate it, or do we need courage and self-compassion from ourselves? What’s the answer?
This course will look at the good, the bad and the ugly of shame, how it manifests – especially in a therapeutic setting – and how we can work with it. Aimed principally at counsellors and psychotherapists, but also relevant to other helping professions as well as people recovering from trauma, this course will take a trauma-informed, neurobiological approach to the issue of shame and look at how transformation really is possible.
Led by Carolyn Spring, this course will combine the latest insights from clinical literature and research alongside neuroscience research and Carolyn’s own journey of recovery from trauma, and from a place where she was utterly crippled by shame (to the point of suicide) to where she now stands up to speak, without shame, to thousands of people each year.
6 hours of CPD with certificate available on completion. Lifetime access, so start, stop and repeat the course as often as you like. Materials can be streamed or downloaded. All online courses are priced individually and offer a single-user licence only. Group bookings are available here.
“Loved this course. Carolyn’s honesty and openness in sharing her story is inspirational. The length of each section was perfect to be able to study in bite-sized chunks and to allow for reflection after each part. Value for money excellent. Really easy to use. I will use what I have learned both in my work with clients but also in my own personal journey in defeating my own shame gremlins – thank you Carolyn.”
“I found this course to be comprehensive in all aspects of mind, body, emotions. I have worked with clients for years on toxic shame and this course taught me things I had no idea about before and which have transformed the quality of the therapy I now provide to clients suffering with toxic/unhealthy shame.”
“I am very impressed by the quality of this training. Carolyn’s honesty as a survivor is to be admired and respected – she has created a course which is of great benefit to others dealing with experiences which have left an impact on them. As soon as I started the course it was benefiting my practice – changing my knowledge and understanding.”
“The best thing about Carolyn’s online training is that I could give myself the time and space to pause the session when I needed, to take notes and to process both the content as well as my own experiences of how I relate to and experience shame. I also really liked the option of breaking up the training into manageable chunks over 2-3 days. I loved Carolyn’s tone and pace, it conveys warmth and integrity and the ‘recycling’ of lived experience into such important work is something to be highly respected. Thank you.”