Skip to main content
Digital Seminar

Undoing Shame

The Key to Trauma Healing

Janina Fisher, PhD
1 Hour 55 Minutes
Audio and Video
Mar 23, 2024
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


More than any other obstacle, shame can block the joy and peace traumatized clients seek in therapy. Feelings of worthlessness prevent them from metabolizing positive experiences. Rather than seeing their accomplishments and strengths as accurate reflections of who they are, shame sabotages their progress. Paradoxically, as clients get better in treatment, standing up for themselves more and reaching their goals, these shifts can evoke other forms of shame, like self-doubt and self-judgement. In this workshop, you’ll explore. You’ll explore how to: 


  • Understand and accept the role of shame in surviving traumatic events 
  • Undo negative beliefs rooted in traumatic events that fuel feelings of inferiority and unworthiness 
  • Connect with and move through feelings of shame to make space for more pride and self-love 


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This program is worth 2 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.



Janina Fisher, PhD's Profile

Janina Fisher, PhD Related seminars and products

Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and former instructor at The Trauma Center, a research and treatment center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known as an expert on the treatment of trauma, Dr. Fisher has also been treating individuals, couples, and families since 1980.

She is the past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of the neurobiological research and newer trauma treatment paradigms into traditional therapeutic modalities.

She is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma (2015) and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation (2017) and the forthcoming book, Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma (in press).

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Janina Fisher has an employment relationship with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. She is a consultant for Khiron House Clinics and the Massachusetts Department of MH Restraint and Seclusion Initiative. Dr. Fisher receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. Dr. Fisher has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Janina Fisher is on the advisory board for the Trauma Research Foundation. She is a patron of the Bowlby Center.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

For a more detailed outline that includes times or durations of time, if needed, please contact


Visit our FAQ page at or contact us at


  • Summarize the role of shame and self-loathing as symptoms of trauma. 
  • Identify the neurobiological effects of shame. 
  • Discriminate the physiological and cognitive contributors to chronic shame. 
  • Describe the survival advantages of shame. 


The Role of Shame in Traumatized Individuals 

  • How shame supports the dorsal vagal or submission response 
  • Procedural learning of survival responses 
  • How shame can be adaptive in a dangerous environment 

The Neurobiological Effects of Shame 

  • Flushing, gaze aversion, collapse, loss of speech 
  • How somatic symptoms of shame become belief systems 

Survival “Advantages” of Shame 

  • Inhibiting behaviour that might elicit abuse 
  • How shame supports loyalty to family over self 
  • Shame as a non-threatening response to perpetrators 

Interventions for Addressing Shame 

  • Developing a mindful relationship to the shame as implicit memory 
  • Cognitive re-structuring of shame as a survival response 
  • Treating the shame as a child part humiliated by an inner critic 

Limitations of the research and potential risks 

  • Evaluating risk in use of mindfulness-based or cognitive restructuring techniques 
  • Identifying clients appropriate or inappropriate for these approaches 


Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Counsellors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counsellors
  • Social Workers

Please wait ...

Back to Top