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Workshop Detail

Los Angeles, CA

The Relational Nature of Shame: A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Perspective with Pat Ogden, Ph.D.

JULY 10, 2020

Exploring and resolving shame, especially pre-verbal, chronic shame, has always been challenging for even the most effective therapists and clients. Shame is a painful interpersonal emotion that first develops in relationship with attachment figures. We see ourselves through their eyes, and if we perceive that they are disapproving, humiliating, ridiculing or hold us in contempt, our sense of self, bodies, emotions, thoughts and self-esteem are deeply affected. Because shame inherently pertains to parts of the self that clients wish to disguise or conceal, they often do not readily talk about their shame for fear (implicit or explicit) of further humiliation or rejection. Therapists, sometimes because of their own shame, also might avoid bringing shame to the fore in the therapy hour. The avoidance on the part of both parties obfuscates shame itself and renders its treatment inconceivable.

This workshop explores the early roots of shame, its impact on the body and nervous system and on patterns of emotions, thoughts and beliefs. We will address the various manifestations of shame, and how shame is so often disguised and veiled, sometimes even to our clients themselves. Since the first shameful encounters occur between the infant or young child and attachment figure primarily through non-verbal communication, such as prosody, eye contact, and touch, we will explore the role of these in the therapy hour in terms of healing shame. With an emphasis on the relational nature of shame, special attention will be given to the importance of the therapeutic relationship, and to resourcing as well as processing shame. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy approaches will be illustrated through video tape excerpts of consultation sessions with clients.


  1. Explain the relational nature of shame.

  2. List three reasons why resolving shame is challenging in clinical practice

  3. Discuss the impact of shame on posture and movement, and nervous system.

  4. Discuss why instinctive immobilizing defenses in the face of trauma can lead to shame.

  5. List three common defenses against shame

  6. Explain the difference between resourcing and processing shame

Please Note: Lunch is included in cost of tuition and will be provided on-site.

Continuing Education: 6 CE hours available

Register Now

Times: 10:00am-5:30pm
Location: Mulholland Tennis Club, 2555 Crest View Dr., Los Angeles, CA 90046. Map
Instructor: Pat Ogden, PhD
Tuition: 250 USD. 5% early registration discount if payment received by 04/17/2020. 15% Alumni Discount discount. Refund Policy
Contact: SPI Admissions, 3034473290,
Local Contact: Bonnie Goldstein, Ph.D,