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Digital Seminar

2-Day Treating Trauma in the Shame-Prone Client: A Shame-Informed Treatment Specialist (CSTS) Certification Course

Patti Ashley, PhD, LPC
Approx. 12 Hours
Sep 15, 2022
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar - Also available: DVD | Live Webinar

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I used to have clients with trauma who just wouldn’t respond to treatment.

Session after session I was met with anger, avoidance or vague responses that shut the door to deeper exploration and healing.

No matter what I did, I felt like these clients believed they weren’t worthy of healing.

That’s when the solution became clear – shame was standing in the way of my clients’ path to a better life…and it’s likely standing in the way of yours.

Since that time, I’ve used a shame-informed approach that’s allowed me to more successfully access clients’ deeply rooted pain, free them from their dysfunctional self-worth, and vastly improve treatment.

Now in this comprehensive certification course I’ll share the clinical strategies and expert level practice tips you need to master effective therapy with shame-prone trauma clients.

When you purchase you’ll get full access to both confidence boosting days PLUS…

  • Tools for assessing shame in clients’ relationships and current patterns
  • Exercises and co-regulation strategies that create emotional safety
  • Specific guidance on using narrative and therapeutic art techniques
  • Mindfulness and somatic techniques to build calm and release shame

Don’t let shame continue to stand in the way of your clients’ healing.

Purchase today!

-- Dr. Patti Ashley

P.S. When you complete this training you can add a valuable certification to your resume and apply to become a Shame-Informed Treatment Specialist (CSTS) through Evergreen Certifications at no additional cost!


  • No hidden fees – PESI pays for your application fee (a $149.99 value)!
  • Simply complete this seminar and the post-event evaluation included in this training, and your application to be a Certified Shame-Informed Treatment Specialist through Evergreen Certifications is complete.*

Attendees will receive documentation of CSTS designation from Evergreen Certifications 4 to 6 weeks following the program.

*Professional standards apply. Visit for professional requirements.


CE Information Coming Soon

Continuing education credit information is coming soon for this non-interactive self-study package.

CEs may be available for select professions, as listed in the target audience. Hours will be dependent on the actual recording time. Please check with your state licensing board or organization for specific requirements. 

There may be an additional fee for CE certificates. Please contact our Customer Service at 1-800-844-8260 for more details. 

**Materials that are included in this course may include interventions and modalities that are beyond the authorized practice of mental health professionals. As a licensed professional, you are responsible for reviewing the scope of practice, including activities that are defined in law as beyond the boundaries of practice in accordance with and in compliance with your professions standards.

Additional Info

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


Visit our FAQ page at or contact us at


  1. Differentiate between guilt and trauma-based core shame and elaborate on the clinical implications.  
  2. Analyze the role of shame proneness as it relates to posttraumatic cognitions and posttraumatic stress symptoms. 
  3. Investigate the neurophysiological and psychological development of shame in order to determine how a therapist might recognize deep-rooted shame in their clients. 
  4. Evaluate research on the therapeutic implications of guilt and shame, including their relationship to PTSD treatment approaches and outcomes. 
  5. Use interview questions to assess clients for patterns which might point therapists toward the presence of core shame.  
  6. Analyze defense mechanisms which are commonly used to control, avoid or deny shame. 
  7. Formulate treatment plans that incorporate a somatic focus alongside traditional cognitive approaches in trauma therapy with shame-prone clients.  
  8. Employ mindfulness-based strategies to help reduce shame in clients and increase their acceptance of emotional experiences.   
  9. Use co-regulation strategies to create a sense of safety in the therapeutic relationship with shame-prone clients.  
  10. Use narrative therapy techniques to externalize clients’ feelings of guilt and help them detach from unhealthy core beliefs.  
  11. Employ self-compassionate visualization and letter-writing interventions to reduce clients’ levels of shame experiences.   
  12. Apply a shame-informed approach to working with co-occurring disorders including eating disorders, depression, anxiety and substance use disorders.  


Trauma, Attachment Disorders and Core Shame
  • Guilt vs. core shame
  • Neurophysiological effects of trauma, attachment disorders, and core shame
  • Developmental theories relevant to emotional safety
  • The evolution of social-emotional development
  • Polyvagal theory, neuroception and shame
  • Trauma, shame and subsequent adult attachment styles
Recognizing and Understanding Client Defenses Against Shame
  • Reactions that develop in attempts to find safety
  • How clients use perfectionism to keep shame at bay
  • Anger, rage and blame
  • How trauma and shame-based beliefs or “stories” impact clients
Assess for Trauma-Based Shame in Relationships and Current Patterns
  • Nonverbal, implicit, and sensory aspects of trauma and shame
  • Interview questions for assessing shame in relationships and current patterns
  • Subtle cues of shame in the therapy room
  • Why self-compassion is so hard to access
How to Create a Safe Therapeutic Holding Environment
  • Attunement as the key to therapeutic change
  • Assessing adult attachment styles and shame
  • Exercises to establish safety and trust
  • Co-regulation strategies that create safety in the therapeutic relationship
  • Self-assessment: identifying your own shame
  • Interest inventories and values assessment
  • Psycho-educational opportunities that demystify shame
Mindfulness and Somatic Strategies:
Use the Present Moment and Movement to Build Calm and Release Shame
  • The importance of non-judgmental awareness
  • Breathing techniques to bring emotional and physical calm
  • Mandalas as a meditation tool
  • Mindfulness and meditation apps for clients
  • Reconnect to the self with nature therapy strategies
  • Self-compassion, forgiveness, and gratitude exercises
  • The role of yoga, dance, and movement in mediating shame
Narrative, Journaling and Therapeutic Art Interventions:
Re-Write Trauma-Based Shame Stories into Safety and Being Enough
  • Narrative therapy techniques to externalize clients’ feelings of shame
  • Self-compassionate visualization and letter-writing interventions
  • Homework assignments, prompts and using timelines
  • Re-storying shame scripts and stepping into strength
  • Creating, telling and using metaphors to de-shame trauma responses
  • Therapeutic art techniques – how clients can process pain outside of themselves
  • Combining top-down and bottom-up strategies in treatment
Connect a Shame-Informed Approach to Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Compassion and forgiveness exercises to let go of anger
  • Choice Awareness Training for eating disorders and disordered eating
  • How internalized shame can deepen depression
  • Mediate the stress and anxiety of perfection with self-acceptance
  • Addressing the shame of relapse with substance use disorders
  • Research, risks and treatment limitations

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Addictions Counselors
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners


Satisfaction Guarantee
Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or call 1-800-844-8260.

ADA Needs
We would be happy to accommodate your ADA needs; please call our Customer Service Department for more information at 1-800-844-8260.

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