Boulder Psychotherapy Institute

Advanced Training in Applied Existential Psychotherapy (AEP)

An Experiential Psychodynamic Gestalt Approach   •   Boulder, Colorado

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Brain to Brain, Body to Body: The Relational Nature of Shame

Pat Ogden
Friday, August 2 2019 - Saturday, August 3 2019


Learning Objectives:

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. Describe the use of posture in addressing shame.

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

6. Discuss reasons why clients often do not bring up shame directly in the therapy hour.

7. Describe three principles of the therapeutic container conducive to working through shame.

8. List three common defenses against shame.

9. Discuss why working with the body can ameliorate early, preverbal shame.

10. Explain the importance of the therapist's implicit communication when addressing shame.

The Workshop: 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. "Shame" is thought to be a derivation of an earlier word referring to "cover" as in concealing oneself. Indeed, we typically wish to hide the parts of ourselves we feel are shameful--the perceived badness or the parts that do not feel "good enough" in our own or in another's estimation. Because shame inherently has to do with 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 obfuscate 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. Foundational principles that create a therapeutic container, or atmosphere, that maximize the possibility of working through shame will be illustrated and operationalized in clinical practice. With an emphasize on the relational nature of shame, special attention will be given to the importance of the therapeutic relationship, including both implicit and explicit communication between therapist and client, to resolve shame. The use of touch will be clarified including cautions, transference and countertransference, and potential benefits. A prominent feature of this workshop is to explore Sensorimotor Psychotherapy interventions that directly address the manifestations of shame in movement, posture, and gesture of the body, as well as in a dysregulated nervous system. We will look at avoidance, compensations and defenses against shame, including the flat affect and inability to connect that often accompanies chronic shame. Sensorimotor Psychotherapy approaches will be illustrated through video tapes excerpts of consultation sessions with clients.

Workshop Details:

When: August 2-3, 2019

Where: Community United Church of Christ, 2650 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, Colorado 80305

Time: 10 to 6 on Friday and 9 to 1:15 on Saturday
(two 15 minute breaks and an hour and a half lunch break on Friday, one 15 minute break on Saturday morning)

10 CE's available for Fri and Sat workshop only - please be sure to sign list.

There will be a Saturday afternoon meeting with SPI graduates from 2:30 to 4:30 across the street at BPI: 1140 Lehigh St. Boulder, CO 80305.

Please let us know you plan to attend the Saturday afternoon meeting. We will be serving a light lunch of chicken and salad before the meeting. We will also send a list of nearby restaurants.

If you are attending the Saturday afternoon session and have a car, please park across the street on the south side of Bear Creek Park. This is a residential neighborhood and we need to keep the neighbors happy.

If you get lost and need directions to the Institute or to the main workshop at CUCC across the street, please call Reed Lindberg, BPI managing Director, on his cell phone at 720 635 4428.

The Workshop Leader: Pat Ogden, PhD, is a pioneer in somatic psychology and the Founder of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute (SPI), an internationally recognized school specializing in somatic-cognitive approaches for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder and attachment disturbances. SPI trainers conduct Sensorimotor Psychotherapy trainings of over 400 hours for mental health professionals throughout the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia. Dr. Ogden is co-founder of the Hakomi Institute, past faculty of Naropa University (1985-2005), a clinician, consultant, and sought after international lecturer. She is the first author of two groundbreaking books: Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Trauma and Attachment (2015) both published in the Interpersonal Neurobiology Series of W. W. Norton. Her current interests include writing and developing trainings in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for children, adolescents and families, Embedded Relational Mindfulness, culture and diversity, couple therapy, challenging clients, and the relational nature of shame.

This is the second time we are offering this workshop. It filled up within two hours of opening registration in April of this year. If you'd like a space, please be sure to register as soon as possible!

Register for This Workshop

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